Somalie, Rwanda, Srebrenica. De nasleep van drie ontspoorde vredesmissies

C.P.M. Klep

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)

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This Phd-thesis analyses three peace-support operations gone wrong. In Somalia (1992-1993) Canadian troops tortured a young Somali thief to death and shot another. In Rwanda (1994) ten Belgian soldiers were murdered, after which the Belgian government withdrew the battalion, giving free rein to Hutu-extremists and their genocidal plans. In Srebrenica (1995) Dutch troops (Dutchbat) could not prevent the murder of 8.000 muslim men by Bosnian Serbs. The dramatic events initiated laborious and emotial aftermaths in Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands. In each case the question of accountability was raised: who could be held responsible for what had happened in Somalia, Rwanda and Srebrenica? This Phd examines this question at both the political and military level, as well as at the level of the victims and their sympathisers (the 'agenda-setters', including critical journalists). A separate chapter is dedicated to the many 'fact finding' committees and the problems they encountered in reconstructing the facts. Their reports would often be 'hijacked' by other actors. Starting point of this dissertation is the premiss that the events were so dramatic as to necessitate a deep-probing and sensitive process of accountability. Somalia, Rwanda and Srebrenica could not simply be ignored. The Canadian, Belgian and Dutch democracies maintain extensive systems of accountability (ministerial accountability, military law, et cetera), at least on paper, so apportioning accountability ought to be possible. In reality, hoewever, nearly all players (politicians, soldiers, bureaucrats) - though admitting 'mistakes' and 'bad judgements' - refrained from accepting accountability as such, let alone guilt. All players used specific arguments (often contextual: 'The circumstances prevented me/us from protecting the local population') or instruments (whistle-blowing, leaking to the press, bureaucratic infighting et cetera). They soon constructed a static 'standard account' to explain their actions and decisions. In the end (in the Netherlands only after eight years!) the political and military organisations were able to remove the aftermaths from the public and political agenda.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Hellema, Duco, Primary supervisor
  • de Graaff, Bob, Supervisor
Award date2 Mar 2009
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs978-90-8506-668-2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2009


  • Specialized histories (international relations, law)
  • Literary theory, analysis and criticism
  • Culturele activiteiten
  • Overig maatschappelijk onderzoek

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