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Bosnian Serbs sue UN, Holland over Srebrenica

March 2, 2009

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - Bosnian Serbs have filed a lawsuit at The Hague claiming the United Nations and the Netherlands failed to protect them in the area around Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 war, an association said Monday.

The Srebrenica Historical Project and six Bosnian Serb families filed the lawsuit at The Hague District Court  last week, the association's director Stefan Karganovic told The Associated Press.

Dutch U.N. peacekeepers were deployed to guard the east Bosnian town of Srebrenica during the war. The lawsuit argues that the peacekeepers failed to prevent Muslim Bosniaks from attacking Serb villages around Srebrenica, Karganovic said.

Bosnian Serbs kept the eastern town of Srebrenica under siege for most of the war, shelling the eastern town and preventing food convoys from entering. In return, Bosniaks conducted overnight raids of Serb villages in search for food. Serbs says those raids claimed around 3,500 Serb lives.

Eventually, Serb forces stormed Srebrenica in 1995 and slaughtered around 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in Europe's worst civilian massacre since World War II.

Bosniak survivors of the Srebrenica massacre have also filed a civil suit at The Hague District Court, seeking compensation from the U.N. and the Dutch state. The court began hearing the case in June 2008. Victims' lawyers cited a figure of $4 billion as a starting point for compensation negotiations.

The Serbs filed their lawsuit at the same court, saying the same Dutch U.N. troops failed to prevent the attacks on the Serb villages around Srebrenica.

"All we want to achieve is that the Serb victims from around Srebrenica get the same attention as the Muslim victims in Srebrenica," Karganovic said


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