31 Aug 2013

Dutch to apologise for 1945 - 1949 executions

10:10 am on 31 August 2013

The Netherlands is to make a public apology for a series of summary executions carried out by the Dutch army in Indonesia, a former colony, between 1945 - 1949 during the war of independence.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte also announced on Friday that The Hague will pay 20,000 euros to the widows of those killed.

According to a government communique, the Dutch ambassador in Indonesia will officially present the state's apology at a ceremony in Jakarta on 12 September.

"We are talking about the horrific events in specific cases that resulted in summary executions," the prime minister said, adding that he would not offer an apology for the entire Dutch military actions in Indonesia.

Concerning the role of the Netherlands during the conflict that led to Indonesia's independence, Mr Rutte said the words of former foreign minister Ben Bot that "the Netherlands found itself on the wrong side of history" during the conflict, remained the view of the government in The Hague.