D.I.C. Veritas

SRNA, 03.08.2018, DIC Veritas: The IC keeping Quiet just 23 ears Ago

BELGRADE, August 3 /SRNA/ – The International Court of Justice has qualified the Croatian criminal operation Storm as ethnic cleansing, but this did not influence Croatia to give up celebrating, without an ICJ order, August 4 as a double state holiday, about which the IC is keeping quiet now as it was keeping quiet in 1995, the Veritas Documentation Center said today.

Veritas says that the ethnic cleansing operation and mass crimes have been celebrated year by year, turning the celebration into the glorification of the Ustashe movement and outbursts of hatred against Serbs, and that promises on protection of national minority rights which Croatian officials gave at the Ban Jelacic Square in Zagreb five years ago when Croatia joined the EU turned into their opposite.

“The Serbian community has become even smaller, more disenfranchised, more attacked, and the IC, including the NATO and EU, whose member Croatia became in the meantime, is keeping quiet just like it kept quiet 23 years ago,” says a press release from Veritas.

The Veritas Documentation Center says that on August 4, 1995, the Croatian Armed Forces, approved and supported by NATO, acting in concert with forces of the Croatian Defense Council /HVO/ and the so-called Army of BiH, committed aggression against northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun and Banija, that is, the Serbian Autonomous Province of Krajina which was a part of the then Republic of the Serbian Krajina.

The aggression was committed despite the fact that the area was under UN protection as sectors South and North, and that representatives of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina one day before the aggression in Geneva and Belgrade accepted an IC proposal on a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

200,000 soldiers were engaged against 230,000 residents and 30,000 soldiers of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, of which number 138,500 members of the Croatian Army, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the HVO directly took part in the operation, and if one adds to this forces of the so-called Army of BiH and NATO, there were more aggressors than residents of the Krajina, and there were at least seven aggressor soldiers against one soldier of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.

In a few days, the resistance of the Army of the Serbian Krajina was broken, and the people of the Western Krajina, more than 220,000 of them, having learned from historical experience, started by that time the greatest Serbian migration to the East, to their brothers in faith and nation.

Even after the Army of the Serbian Krajina ceased to resist, the aggressor was killing people who did not want to or simply could not leave their ancestral homes, but also killing those in refugee convoys, deep in the territory of Republika Srpska.

The Veritas keeps records of 1,861 Serbs killed and went missing during and after this military operation, of whom 1,211 are civilians /65%/, of whom some 75% were more than 60 years of age.

There are 548 women among the victims /29%/, of whom around 80% were older than 60 years of age, which is one of black records o the civil war of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia.

Of the total number of victims, the fate of 1,084 persons has been resolved, and 777 persons are still listed as missing, of whom 588 are civilians, including 295 women.

Croatia is avoiding, without a proper reason, to exhume mortal remains of around 152 Serbs, buried as John Doe, which is a unique case in the former Yugoslavia, and is procrastinating, also without a proper reason, to identify 362 mortal remains.

The aggression code-named Storm was conducted just like those that preceded it – the Miljevac Plateau, Maslenica, Medacki Dzep and Flash, in keeping with the scorched earth tactics, which in mid-November 1995 reached the scope of complete destruction of the Serbian community in the Krajina.

Even though it was obvious that the Croatian authorities have conducted the aggression in order to get the territory without the Serbian majority that lived there, the UN Security Council, except for “strong condemnation of the large-scale Croatian military operation,” did not bring any punitive measures against the aggressor.

The Storm is the only event in which Serbs were victims, for which people were tried before the ICTY.

The ICTY Trial Chamber unanimously concluded that two out of three accused Generals were participants in a joint criminal enterprise the purpose of which was to permanently remove Serbian civilians from the Krajina by force and threats, and sentenced them – Ante Gotovina to 24 and Mladen Markac to 18 years in prison.

By a narrow majority – three to two – the Appeals Chamber overturned the ruling of the Trial Chamber and exonerated the accused generals of all counts of the indictment.

Even though the Appeals Chamber did not deny crimes from the ruling, it did not find it appropriate to sentence Generals.

Out of a few members of the Croatian armed forces who have been prosecuted for war crimes against Serbs during the operation Storm, Croatian courts sentenced only one person /in the Prkuljan and Mandici case/, and several families of Serbs killed in this criminal operation managed to get compensation for their killed relatives after long and exhausting court proceedings.

Veritas says that the BiH Court also sentenced one member of the 5th Corps of the so-called Army of BiH for war crime against four members of the Army of the Serbian Krajina, who, with his consent, were killed in Suva Medja in the territory of Croatia by a mujahedin from the same unit.

A litigation is in progress before a federal court in Chicago involving a class action lawsuit filed in August, 2010 by Krajina Serbs against the MPRI consulting firm, that is, its legal successor, alleging complicity in genocide, which, after long negotiations ended in settlement in the fall of 2016.

More valuable than a symbolic amount of money is the knowledge that at least a part of the world public has been informed of the tragedy of Serbs from the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, to which American organizations, such as MPRI, contributed greatly, says the Veritas.

It says that the operation Storm is also before the European Court of Human Rights where courts proceedings are in progress involving lawsuits filed against Croatia by Serbs who lost their cases before Croatian courts or think that Croatia’s state bodies failed to conduct efficient investigation into the deaths of their relatives, civilians, who were killed during or immediately after this military operation.



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