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Posted inEuropean Union, Southeastern Europe

BALKAN CRISIS: Dutch Peacekeepers Under Fire

THE HAGUE-THE DUTCH MILITARY PRES-ence in Srebrenica began in March 1994, when the Dutch battalion (Dutchbat) relieved Canadian peacekeeping forces. The enclave, where 40,000 to 50,000 Muslims were living, was relatively calm at the time. The Dutch troops originally numbered 600 but ultimately dwindled to 350 because the Serbs did not allow replacements into the enclave. The Dutch were occasionally caught in the crossfire between the Bosnian Serb attackers and the Muslim defenders, and they came to feel like hostages of both warring parties.