Stood by in Srebenica massacre but Serbia cleared in Bosnia genocide

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The U.N.'s highest court cleared Serbia Monday of genocide against Muslims in Bosnia's bloody war. But it said the country's former government should have stopped the 1995 slaughter of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica and ordered Serb leaders to hand over the alleged architect of the massacre.

The case marked the first time a state had been taken to court over allegations of genocide, outlawed in a U.N. convention in 1948 after the Nazi Holocaust, although individuals have been convicted in genocide cases linked to massacres in Bosnia and Rwanda.

In a 171-page ruling, the International Court of Justice said the massacre of thousands of Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces at the U.N.-protected Srebrenica enclave was an act of genocide.

But the 15-judge panel rejected Bosnia's claim that the Serbian state was responsible for the killing, saying it did not have effective control over the Bosnian Serb forces it had helped arm and finance.

Instead, the judges ruled that Serbia stood by and allowed the massacre to happen.

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