The Dutch state is to appeal The Hague court ruling that found it partly to blame for the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in the Srebrenica genocide of 1995.

Up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in total were killed at Srebrenica in the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.
Up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in total were killed at Srebrenica in the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two. (AP/File photo)

The Dutch government has asked the country's Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that the Netherlands was partly responsible for the death of hundreds of Muslim men killed in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.

The victims were killed after being turned away from a Dutch-run United Nations base where thousands had sought refuge from attacking Bosnian Serb forces at the tail-end of the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Dutch peacekeepers did little more than look on as the men were separated from women and deported to killing sites.

The Dutch soldiers "facilitated the separation of the men and the boys" by Bosnian Serb forces, the court said, adding that letting the men leave the base meant they "were deprived of a chance of survival."

Up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in total were killed at Srebrenica in the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

New mass graves continue to be found in the small European country of Bosnia, where tens of thousands of bodies have been exhumed from hundreds of mass graves, and thousands more remain unaccounted for. 

"We do not share the judge's opinion that Dutch UN peacemakers acted unlawfully, and we do not understand how the court reached that verdict," Klaas Meijer, defence ministry spokesman, said on Wednesday.

He was referring to an appeals court verdict in June confirming a 2014 ruling that said "the Dutch state acted unlawfully" in Srebrenica, and that Dutch UN peacekeepers knew Muslim men and boys separated by Bosnian Serb forces from their families faced a "real risk" of "inhumane treatment or execution."

The court upheld the 2014 ruling that the Dutch state pay compensation to the families of 350 Muslims who died.

The supreme court can only overturn an appeal ruling if it finds that the lower court erred in law or procedure.

If the court rules in the state's favour, a new trial could be opened in front of Dutch courts into one of the blackest pages in the country's history.

In June, the government said it feared the ruling could have "future consequences on other operations." 

Dutch troops are currently deployed in Mali, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies