The Hague – A Dutch court began hearings Wednesday to decide whether the surviving family members of the victims of a 1995 massacre of Muslims in Bosnia could sue the United Nations for failing to prevent the killings. Serb forces killed more than 8,000 Muslims in one week in July 1995, overrunning the Srebrenica enclave that had been declared a United Nations safe zone.
Dutch peacekeepers failed to intervene as the male victims were led away from their custody for execution. The Mothers of Srebrenica, survivors of the men and boys killed in 1995, are among those seeking compensation from the United Nations and the Dutch state in the civil lawsuit. So far the United Nations has refused to participate in the proceedings launched in 2007 on the basis of its immunity. The court will rule in a few weeks time whether the case can go ahead.