Women who lost their husbands and sons at Srebrenica have met some of the Dutch peackeepers who were supposed to have kept them safe.
Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian Serb forces in the summer of 1995.
One mother said: “This is the only thing I have left of my son. I don’t have anything else. What did you do then?”
“We were at fault,” admitted this former peacekeeper. “But we were just young men, we weren’t pyschologically prepared.”
The lightly-armed Dutch peacekeepers were massively outnumbered and the UN did not respond to the commander’s calls for air support. But the soldiers did not fire a shot to protect the town even though it had been declared a safe haven two years ago.
Another former peacekeeper said: “I understand the feelings of the people inside, it is also not easy for us to say something about it.”
Relatives of the victims of the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two sued the Netherlands and the UN but lost after the Dutch government successfully denied responsibility, saying its troops had been abandoned by the UN.