D.I.C. Veritas

SRNA, 22.01.2019, Memorial Service for 348 Serbs killed 26 years ago in Ravni Kotari and Mt. Velebit

BELGRADE, January 22 /SRNA/ – A memorial service was held today in the St. Mark Church in Belgrade for 348 Serbs killed 26 years ago by the Croatian Army in the Maslenica operation in Ravni Kotari and on the Mali Alen mountain pass on Mount Velebit.

The memorial service, which was organized by the Association of Missing and Killed Persons “Suza”, was attended by the director of the Veritas Documentation Center, Savo Strbac, the president of the Coordination of Serbian Refugee Associations from the Former Yugoslavia, Dragan Pjevac, the secretary-general of the Association of Serbs from Croatia, Milojko Budimir, the chairman of the Serbian Parliament’s Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region, Miodrag Linta.

The president of the Association “Suza,” Dragana Djukic, has told SRNA that families of the victims find it incomprehensible that such a grave crime went unpunished and that it is not mentioned either by the Croatian or international public, just like nothing happened.

“It is sad that no one has been brought to justice for this crime and that nothing was done in this regard 26 years after the crime. No one mentions this crime – either the government which did it or the present /Croatian/ authorities. It is hard for the families that the crime went unpunished,” Djukic has said.

She has said that three purely Serbian villages, which were razed to the ground, suffered the most, which was a clear message for Serbs not to return ever again, but added that ethnically mixed villages suffered as well.

“No one returned to these villages, these people migrated to third countries. There is no any empathy from the other side and this is not good for return and relations between neighboring countries,” Djukic has said.

According to the Veritas data, the Croatian Army killed 348 Serbian civilians and soldiers on January 22, 1993, including 35 women and three children younger than 12. Fifty-five civilians were older than 60.

The destiny of 337 persons has been solved, 11 persons are still listed as missing, of whom six are civilians, including three women.

Three Serbian villages, Islam Grcki, Kasic and Smokovic suffered the most in the aggression, as well as ethnically mixed villages of Murvica, Crno, Zemunik Gornji, Poljica and Islam Latinski.

Serbs from the said villages were killed, expelled or taken to prison camps.

Their rich properties were looted and destroyed, and cultural monuments, churches and cemeteries were desecrated and destroyed, including the palace of Jankovic Stojan in Islam Grcki with the church of St. George from the 17th century, where famous writer Vladan Desnica was buried, and the church of St. George from the 16th century in Smokovic.

The Maslenica operation was planned and conducted by Janko Bobetko, Ante Gotovina, Ante Roso, Mladen Markac, Mirko Norac, and the then Croatian President, Franjo Tudjman.

Kossovo Albanian Agim Ceku was at the helm of the artillery sector Velibit. He was later indicted for war crimes in Kossovo and Metohija.

Even though the aggression was conducted against a UN protected zone and before the eyes of numerous UNPROFOR soldiers, no one has been prosecuted for crimes against Serbs in this operation either by domestic or international courts.

A grave crime was committed on the first day of the aggression on the Mali Alen mountain pass on Mount Velebit, in the immediate vicinity of an UNPROFOR watchtower, when members of the special Croatian police unit Alfe killed from an ambush and massacred 22 members of the Serbian Army of the Krajina from Gradacac.

The massacre was committed by members of the 5th platoon of Alfe which was commanded by Milijan Brkic, nicknamed Vaso, who is the current deputy president of the HDZ and the deputy speaker of the Croatian Parliament.




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