Srebrenica genocide commemorated in The Hague
The mass murder that took place in Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina 26 years ago will be commemorated on Sunday in The Hauge. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the memorial can only be followed online this year via a live stream.
Names of the genocide victims will be mentioned, and the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, will deliver a speech.
The massacre that took place in Srebrenica is considered the most serious war crime in Europe after World War II and is also a painful episode in Dutch history.
Dutch soldiers from Dutchbat, a Dutch battalion in the UN Protection Force, were tasked with protecting the enclave of Srebrenica during the Yugoslavian civil war in 1995. They were unable to prevent Bosnian Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic from assassinating more than eight thousand Muslim Bosnian people, predominately men and boys, between July 11 and July 19, 1995. Mladic was sentenced to life in prison for war crimes last month.
The bodies were dumped into mass graves afterward. More than 6,600 bodies have been recovered and identified so far.
The victims have been commemorated every year on July 11 since 1997. In the village of Potocari just outside of Srebrenica where the Dutchbat had their base, the atrocities are also commemorated annually. In Potocari, there is a memorial cemetery where many of the victims were buried. On Sunday, 19 victims will be reburied in the cemetery: 16 men, two boys and one woman.
In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that the Dutch military did not adequately protect around 350 Muslim men that sought refugee at the base where the Dutch soldiers were stationed. The relatives of these men are, therefore, entitled to compensation which can be requested since last month. A widow can receive up to 15 thousand euros and other relatives ten thousand euros.