Former Dutch Defense Minister Ter Beek dies

October 1st, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by David M N James  

Former Dutch Defense Minister Relus ter Beek is dead. The Dutchman is reputed for abolishing a war limits draft and sent troops to an ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. Relus died on Monday shocking friends and family. He was ailing from lung cancer. The lung cancer ate him up and he died of it at the age of 64. The announcement about his death came from the Dutch government which also is mourning one of its officials and loyal servant. He exited politics, and returned home at the eastern Dutch province of Drenthe. Beek accepted ceremonial position of the queen’s representative in the province from 1995 until his death. Ter Beek is survived by his wife and two children.

Government sources have said that, Ter Beek was defense minister from 1989-94 in a centrist coalition led by Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers. He joined the government when the Berlin Wall fell, and concentrated on streamlining the Dutch military in the aftermath of the Cold War, including scrapping the draft.

Government sources also pointed out that after Ter Beek left office, the outnumbered and outgunned Dutch peacekeepers stood by as Bosnian Serbs overran the enclave in July 1995 and systematically murdered 8,000 Muslim men in Europe’s worst massacre since the Holocaust.

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