D.I.C. Veritas

SRNA, 06.08.2018, Marking 23rd Anniversary of Serb Exodus from Krajina begins

NOVI GRAD, August 6 /SRNA/ – A memorial service in the Church of Sts Peter and Paul the Apostles in Novi Grad was the beginning of marking the 23rd anniversary of the Serb exodus from the Republic of Serbian Krajina during the Croatian 1995 Operation Storm.

Director of Veritas Centre Savo Strbac said 777 victims of Storm were still searched for.

“According to the data obtained by Veritas, 1,861 persons were killed but the list is not final. Last year we added three more names,” Strbac stated in Novi Grad.

He noted that Operation Storm was specific because more than 65 per cent of casualties were civilians while the average of the 1990s war was 30 per cent.

In cooperation with partner associations in Croatia, the Veritas Centre launched a procedure to prosecute the Storm crimes before the European Court of Justice and relevant materials are collected, said Strbac.

“We hope to have better data next year,” he said.

Nearly 200 civilians were killed on the road from Glina to Dvor and no one has been prosecuted for that, Strbac pointed out.

Mayor of Novi Grad Miroslav Drljaca said that the events of August 1995 were the most tragic in the recent Serbian history and that the consequences were felt to this day.

“Serbs had fled a wide area of Croatia and are now scattered across Republika Srpska, Serbia and other countries. It is depressing that there is no sign that any of them might ever go back,” said Drljaca.

In August 1995, Novi Grad helped the unfortunate refugees fleeing Krajina as much as it could.

After the memorial service, candles were lit along the street leading from the church to the bridge over the Una River at the border crossing and flowers will be laid into the river there. In August 1995, the “bridge of salvation” was crossed by 100,000 Serbs expelled from the Republic of Serbian Krajina, mainly from Banija, Kordun, and Lika.

Numerous delegations will then lay wreaths to a memorial to civilian casualties in the settlement of Tunjica outside Novi Grad, the point where the Croatian forces entered Srpska in September 1995. Within two days of the offensive, 37 civilians, 18 soldiers and two police officers were killed and 17 civilians, three soldiers and one police officer were injured.

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.

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.

Marking the 23rd anniversary of the exodus is organised by the Veritas Centre and Novi Grad municipality.



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