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Netherlands: Government Resigns Over Srebrenica Massacre


The Hague, 12 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Dutch cabinet today resigned over an official report condemning its failure to prevent the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia. The report blamed Dutch officials for sending troops on an impossible mission and failing to protect the Muslim population of Srebrenica.

Prime Minister Wim Kok said he was going to hand over to the queen the resignations of all ministers and junior ministers. He said he would then explain the decision to parliament. Kok has already said he will not run for re-election.

Kok's cabinet will continue to function as an interim government until a new government replaces it, but with no power to initiate legislation. Elections were previously scheduled for 15 May.

Following the report's release last week, the defense and environment ministers said publicly that they were considering handing in their resignations.

In 1995, more than 7,500 Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serb forces who seized the enclave from Dutch UN peacekeepers after the UN declared it a "safe haven."

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