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Dutch Fault Bosnia Mission

January 28, 2003|From Associated Press

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government's decision to send peacekeeping troops to Bosnia-Herzegovina was ill considered and poorly planned, a parliamentary inquiry into the 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica concluded Monday.

The panel's report followed an investigation into the slaughter of more than 7,000 Muslims by Bosnian Serb troops.

Lightly armed Dutch troops, who had been ordered to open fire only in self-defense, stood by as Bosnian Serb troops loaded Muslim men and boys onto buses and took them away.

"Decision-making within the Cabinet was incremental and fragmentary," commission Chairman Bert Bakker said. "Full consideration of whether the troops should be sent was never taken, either by the government or parliament."

Bakker said the government failed to properly weigh the chances of a "worst-case scenario" before volunteering its troops as peacekeepers.

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