DUTCH PEACEKEEPERS REVISIT SREBRENICA
FORMER U.N. DUTCH PEACEKEEPERS VISIT SREBRENICA, WHILE SERBS CONTINUE SREBRENICA GENOCIDE DENIAL
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Photo Caption: Bosniak woman Nedziba Salihovic, right, holds a photograph of her late child, Kiram, during a meeting with a group of Dutch soldiers in a former United Nations base, in Potocari, near Srebrenica on Oct. 17, 2007. Twelve years after the Srebrenica massacre of over 8,000 men and boys, on October 17 2007, their widows and mothers met with ex-Dutch soldiers who served as peacekeepers in the Bosniak enclave during the Bosnian war.
Quote: ... the Serbs began to "march girls and young women away from the group of refugees. They were raped." ....A Dutch soldier stood by and watched as the women were raped, even listening to music on his Walkman.... A Serb, says Subasic, "told the mother to make the child stop crying. But when the baby continued to cry, he took it from the mother and slit its throat. Then he laughed. A Dutch soldier also witnessed the murder of the baby, she says, and yet he "didn't react at all"... The Muslim men, some as young as 12, were almost all murdered. The scenes that transpired in the camp are indescribable. The Serbs would pick out girls from groups. "I saw the Bosnian women begging the Dutchbat soldiers to bring the girls back," Kadira Gabeljic, one of the plaintiffs, recalls. But they only responded: "no, no, no." Ramiza Gurdic, another plaintiff, witnessed an incident that she is unlikely to ever forget. She describes a scene in which a 10-year-old boy was placed in his mother's lap and literally slaughtered. "His little head was chopped off, and the body remained in the mother's lap." End Quote
"Why did you betray our children under the U.N. flag?" one woman shouted at the visitors. "Why did you come only now?"
"Today I feel the same helplessness I felt in those days," Monique Bergman told Reuters. Bergman was just 20 when she served as a peacekeeper at Srebrenica in the summer of 1995.
Photo Caption: Former Dutch peacekeeper Henry Van Der Belt (R) cries as he meets survivors and relatives of victims of the Srebrenica massacre in a former U.N base in Potocari October 17, 2007.
"Not being able to do anything is a horrible feeling, which haunted me for years. For years I have been mentally ill because of what happened here," she said through tears. "I am trying to understand the pain and anger of the survivors and to show respect to the women and victims."
Photo Caption: Former Dutch peacekeeper Boudewijn Kok visits his old army base near Srebrenica October 16, 2007. Dutch peacekeepers are looking at the graffiti. Some of these Dutch graffiti were especially offensive, as reported in this article."I was here when all this happened, and now I am here again to pay respects to the victims and their families," said Boudewijn Kok, a 21-year-old at the time of the massacre.
The twelve visiting soldiers had a stormy meeting with the families of Srebrenica victims on Wednesday, but the meeting was disrupted after they failed to give clear answers to the families’ questions on why they didn’t prevent the massacre.
One former sergeant named Rob said he managed to save a few men when the Serb troops began their separation process.
"Even though 12 years have passed, we have not forgotten that genocide happened here. Our arrival is the proof that we have been thinking about it since," he told the waiting women.
Photo Description: Former Dutch peacekeeper Henry Van Der Belt (L) is comforted by a friend as he visits a memorial for Srebrenica victims in Potocari October 16, 2007.
The association of Srebrenica mothers, has sued the Dutch government for a billion dollars in damages for failing to protect Srebrenica's Muslim population. It has asked the Dutch soldiers to testify against their government.
The Dutch government resigned in April 2002 in a scandal over its role in Srebrenica, but refused to apologize for its actions. Instead, the Dutch government commissioned shameful NIOD Report ("Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie"). NIOD Report was the Netherlands's attempt to wash their hands of direct involvement in the Srebrenica massacre.
The Dutch report was extremely biased and amounted to moral equivalism, depending on the ources or references used. As survivor of Srebrenica genocide, Hasan Nuhanovic, reported at our blog: "The NIOD Report has not determined the level of responsibility and guilt of the Dutch troops and officials for Genocide in Srebrenica." For example, Part II - Chapter 2 talks about "The history preceding the conflict in Eastern Bosnia up until the establishment of the Safe Area". By reading this part of the report, one can easily get the totally inacurate impression that the Bosniaks constantly attacked Serb villages while Serbs were constantly defending themselves from Bosniaks. Of course, clueless Dutch researches failed to mention the International Criminal Tribunal's findings that Serb villages were heavily armed and that Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica. But since this report was Netherland's attempt to shift blame by virtues of 'moral equivalency', no wonder they came up with such grotesque claims. A more detailed U.N. Report 53/35 concluded:
Quote: Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few “raids” the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. End Quote
For Bosnian Serbs, the Dutch visit to Srebrenica was an opportunity to continue with Srebrenica genocide denial by repeating discredited claims carefully prepared and delivered directly from Belgrade.
A Bosnian Serb War Veterans’ organisation, comprised of Chetniks who participated in Srebrenica genocide, said this week it had a proof that at least one thousand victims listed as being killed in Srebrenica were alive or died before the July 1995 massacre. The so called "proof" came from (guess who?) radical Serbian nationalist and Belgrade researcher, shamed Srebrenica genocide denier, Milivoje Ivanisevic. His claims have been discredited on numerous occassions by both the International Criminal Tribunal and the Research and Documentation Center, for more you can read Questions and Answers about Srebrenica Genocide.
Photo Caption: Former Dutch soldiers who served as peacekeepers with the UN peacekeeping force in Srebrenica during 1992-95 with family members and friends looking at the memorial wall with the names of 8,000 men, elderly and children who perished in the Srebrenica genocide.
Editor's Note: Srebrenica Genocide Blog would like to thank 12 former Dutch peacekeepers for visiting Srebrenica and paying respect to the victims of Srebrenica massacre - the single worst act of massacre in Europe since the World War II. At least we have 12 people who had courage and will to visit Srebrenica Genocide Memorial and pay their respect to over 8,000 victims of Srebrenica Genocide - victims ranging from children to the elderly. Not surprisingly, the former Dutch commander, Colonel Tom Karremans was not among 12 courageous Dutch peacekeepers who came to pay their respect in Srebrenica. In fact, Colonel Thomas Karremans does not belong in this group, because he lost his manhood and humanity went he went on to drink a toast with Serb general Ratko Mladic (click here to see photo), while the Srebrenica massacre was taking place. Following negotiations between UN and Bosnian Serbs, on Friday, July 21st, 1995, Colonel Karremans and Dutch UN soldiers were allowed to leave Srebrenica. On the farewell, Colonel Karremans accepted gifts from General Mladic who committed genocide in Srebrenica, smiled, shook his hand and departed. As one of Srebrenica massacre survivors confided to us: "Thomas Karremans is an embarrasment of human existence."