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Outgoing Dutch PM begins his Bosnia go to at memorial to Srebrenica genocide victims

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SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday started a two-day go to to Bosnia with a cease in Srebrenica, the place he paid his respects to victims of the 1995 genocide.

The Netherlands has lengthy wrestled with the legacy of the bloodbath, Europe’s solely acknowledged genocide because the Holocaust. Dutch troops served as U.N. peacekeepers within the city throughout battle within the Balkans however have been overrun by Bosnian Serb forces who went on to kill greater than 8,000 Bosniak — largely Muslim — males and boys.

Victims’ stays are nonetheless being unearthed from mass graves and recognized.

Rutte on Tuesday will be a part of European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic for discussions about Bosnia’s bid to hitch the European Union.

Bosnia stays ethnically divided and politically unstable lengthy after the top of the 1992-95 battle that killed greater than 100,000 individuals and displaced hundreds of thousands.

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In 2002, then-Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok resigned after a report harshly criticized Dutch authorities for sending troopers right into a hazard zone and not using a correct mandate or the weapons wanted to guard about 30,000 refugees who had fled to the Dutch base in japanese Bosnia.

In 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court docket dominated that the Netherlands was partially liable within the deaths of about 350 Muslim males killed by Bosnian Serb forces throughout the bloodbath.

In Srebrenica, Rutte laid a wreath on the memorial web site. He was accompanied by a delegation from the Moms of Srebrenica group that represents survivors whose relations have been killed.

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