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Former UN soldiers sue the Netherlands over deployment to Srebrenica

Former UN soldiers have sued the Netherlands, saying they were led into an impossible mission. The soldiers have been accused of being complicit in the massacre of thousands in Srebrenica.

Dutchbat troops in Srebrenica in 1995

Dutchbat troops in Srebrenica in 1995

Laywers representing the 12 veterans said on Thursday the men had been sent on an "impossible mission" to Srebrenica, the site of one of the worst atrocities on European soil since the Holocaust.

"Dutchbat was sent without appropriate preparation, without sufficient materials and capacity on an impossible mission," the lawyers said, referring to the name of the men's peacekeeping unit.

During the height of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, the soldiers were sent to Srebrenica in order to protect the town from advancing Bosnian Serbs. However, when the town was overrun, the peacekeepers capitulated and some 8,000 Muslim Bosniak boys and men were massacred.

Lingering damages

Lawyers said the soldiers had never been compensated for the psychological and financial damages incurred as a result of their deployment.

The announcement came the same day a panel at the International Criminal Tribunal rejected the appeals of two former senior Bosnian Serb officials, Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin, who had been convicted for playing key roles in the murder of Muslims and Croats during the war.

The men, who were associated of

former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic

, were handed down 22-year prison sentences in 2013.

blc/kl (AP, AFP, dpa)

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