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Hearings underway in Srebrenica suit against Dutch government

[JURIST] Hearings began Thursday in a civil suit filed against the Dutch government by two families of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline]. The families claim that the Dutch government should be held responsible because of Dutch peacekeepers' inability to stop Serb forces' slaughter of 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys [JURIST report] from the UN-protected eastern Bosnian enclave in Europe's worst mass slaughter of civilians since the end of World War II. The Dutch government has said that the families should seek compensation from Serbia. The Hague District Court is currently holding preliminary hearings to see whether there are sufficient grounds for the civil suit to go to trial. The first witness to testify Thursday, personnel officer Berend Osterveen, said that the Dutch government was unprepared for the massacre and was "frustrated and powerless." AP has more.

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