D.I.C. Veritas

SRNA, 03.08.2018, Kuzet: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing committed against Serbs

BANJALUKA, August 3 /SRNA/ – Banjaluka Coordinator of the Documents and Information Centre Veritas Radomir Kuzet says genocide and ethnic cleansing against Serbs was committed in the Croatian 1995 Operation Storm as more than 1,860 Serbs from the Republic of Serbian Krajina were killed and a quarter of a million expelled.

“The Hague Tribunal said it wasn’t that. But the objective and plan were executed and the operation was carried out in detail. From the first day they wanted to materialise the idea of killing one third of the local Serbs, converting one third into Roman Catholics, and expelling one third from the country. In my opinion, the operation succeeded in all that,” Kuzet told a press conference in Banjaluka on Friday marking the 23rd anniversary of the Serb exodus from Croatia.

The Hague Tribunal did not fulfil its role regarding the prosecution of crimes against Serbs in Croatia, he said.

“The court administered selective justice mainly to the detriment of Serbs even though it is indisputable that Croatian forces with the support of NATO, the so-called Army of BIH and Croatian Defence Council /HVO/ expelled nearly a quarter of a million Serbs and killed more than 1,860 in Operation Storm in August 1995,” said Kuzet.

Of the total number of Serb casualties, light has been shed on the fate of 1,084, while 777 others are still listed missing. “Krajina was devastated, burnt, looted, and destroyed, even though it was a UN-protected zone,” noted Kuzet.

He added that in 2015 Operation Storm was qualified by the International Court of Justice as an ethnic cleansing operation and added that the lives of Serbs in Croatia were now very hard and that certain Serb areas were inhabited by Croats.

A Veritas member Slobodan Peric stated that the 23rd anniversary of the exodus from Krajina will be marked in Backa Palanka, Serbia on Saturday, in an event organised by the governments of Serbia and Republika Srpska and the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The same day in Banjaluka flowers will be laid at the Perduovo cemetery at 9.30 a.m. in honour of the fallen people from Krajina and a commemoration held in the Christ the Saviour Church at 11 a.m.

A public debate “Days of Sorrow and Remembrance” will take place at the National Theatre at noon where there will be talk about the legal issues of the Krajina’s displaced and ailing population.

The anniversary will also be marked in Novi Grad on Monday, August 6.

“On that occasion, a liturgy will be conducted in the Church of Sts Peter and Paul the Apostles at 9 a.m., a commemoration is scheduled for 10 a.m., and a candle-lighting custom for 10.45 a.m. Wreaths will be laid into the Una from the ‘bridge of salvation’ at the border crossing,” said Peric. In August 1995, a total of 100,000 Serbs expelled from the Republic of Serbian Krajina crossed the bridge.

Numerous delegations will lay wreaths to a memorial to civilian casualties in the settlement of Tunjica outside Novi Grad on Monday at 11.15 a.m., the point where the Croatian forces entered Srpska in September 1995, killing 37 civilians, 18 soldiers and two police officers.

“A memorial service will be held in the St Sava Church in Svodna near Novi Grad at 11.30 a.m. and at noon wreaths laid to the memorial cross which was erected in 2012 by Veritas in honour of six civilians killed in a refugee convoy shelled by the Croatian army,” said Peric.

Veritas reported that a memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony will be held near a memorial on the Petrovac road on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

“A visit to a memorial room in Drinic will be organised on Tuesday at noon,” said Veritas. Free transport will be available from Banjaluka to Janjile outside Petrovac and more information is available at the telephone number 066 364 022.

According to the data provided by the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees, 250,000 Krajina Serbs were expelled, 1,856 were killed and 836 are listed missing.

The operation began on August 4, 1995 with an offensive on Banija, Lika, Kordun and northern Dalmatia.




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