Lost in Translation: Srebrenica, an interpreter, a secret deal and a conference in The Hague
July 22, 2015, The Hague, the Netherlands.
In The Hague in late June, an international conference on Srebrenica took place at the ‘The Hague Institute for Global Justice’. Invited were several dozen politicians, civil servants and military officers who played a key role before, during and after the fall of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995, during which Bosnian-Serb and Serbian forces killed more than 8,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) despite the presence of the Dutch UN peacekeeping contingent commonly known as ‘Dutchbat’. Among the conference’s participants were former Dutchbat Commander Thom Karremans and former Dutch Defense Minister Joris Voorhoeve. Muhamed Durakovic was the sole Srebrenica survivor allowed to attend this gathering, which largely took place behind closed doors.
However, Hasan Nuhanovic, a former interpreter for Dutchbat, was not allowed to attend the conference. He recently won a lawsuit against the Dutch State along with other relatives of Rizo Mustafic and Ibro and Muhamed Nuhanovic who died in this genocide. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled on September 6, 2013 that these three men were wrongly evicted from the Dutchbat compound after the fall of the enclave and so went to meet certain death.
Ukraine: the strategy of Putin
This article was published under the title “Armament Ukraine increases the chance of peace Bewapening van Oekraïne vergroot de kans op vrede)” in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant on March 23, 2015; see www.volkskrant.nl/opinie/bewapening-van-oekraine-vergroot-de-kans-op-vrede~a3921099/.
Many politicians and scholars in the West are still too naive about the situation in Ukraine. An example is Ivan Krastev, director of the renowned Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria. See the article by him and Prof. Stephen Holmes on February 25 as posted on www.project-syndicate.org, and in various newspapers, including on February 26 in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant (People’s Paper). Their view is that Putin has, after the annexation of the Crimea, no longer a strategic interest in control over eastern Ukraine. Yet at the same time Krastev and Holmes argue that it is Putin’s goal to keep the area of the former Soviet Union (excluding the Baltic states) in the Russian sphere of influence. But that actually is a strategic objective.