Defence Ministry has no problem with Magazine on Srebrenica

25 June 2010

Defence Ministry has no problem with Magazine on Srebrenica

Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop has no problems with the publication of an issue of the military magazine De Onderofficier ('The Junior Officer') on the subject of the Srebrenica massacre of 1995, when Dutch UN troops allegedly failed to protect the local population in what was supposed to have been a safe enclave. Van Middelkoop said this in response to SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk during a parliamentary debate on veterans policy. Two days later, however, the publication continues to be banned by an army communications department anxious to avoid any negative reports regarding defence during the formation of a new government, negotiations over which continue following the general election of June 9th.

Jasper van DijkSP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk is, however, unhappy with this kind of censorship. "It concerns a special edition issued to mark the commemoration of the fall of the Muslim enclave fifteen years ago. It's incredible that the Ministry of Defence tried to stop this, fearing for damage to its reputation. Because of this action the matter has grown in importance, moreover. So in my view this magazine should be published as quickly as possible," he says.

Whether the magazine will actually be published remains unclear. For this reason, Van Dijk asked Van Middelkoop whether he intended to raise the matter explicitly with the army's Communications department. The minister, however, considered it sufficient to offer his apologies during the debate. "The question now is whether the minister's words will have any impact," says Van Dijk. "Should that not prove to be the case, it will show that there is something amiss when it comes to the relationships of authority within the ministry." In which case, Van Dijk says, he will have to consider further action.

You are here