11 July is the fifteenth remembrance of the fall of the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica. The Dutch defence magazine The NCO had rightly planned to remember this with a special issue of the magazine. However the Ministry of Defence has blocked this because writing about Srebrenica is ‘detrimental to the army’, it was reported on Dutch TV by Network on 22nd of June. ‘During this period of forming a new coalition and implementing cut backs, defence is keen to promote positive news stories,’ according to a spokesman.
Fifteen years ago more than 7000 Muslim men were murdered more or less in full view of Dutch military personnel. So we have the situation that a defence magazine is not allowed to write about the greatest mass murder in Europe since the Second World War! This is almost a confession of culpability.
Recently the Dutch Foreign Secretary Maxime Verhagen announced that The Netherlands had dropped their resistance against allowing Serbia to become a candidate member state and start their process of joining the European Union. Until quite recently The Netherlands had opposed Serbia joining the EU because they still failed to locate and extradite the responsible Bosnian-Serbian general Mladic to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. By now the Dutch government is of the opinion that Serbia provides enough collaboration with the ICJ but Mladic is still at large.