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Quiet Exodus of Serbs still happening in Croatia

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SRNA, 05.08.2019, Strbac: Quiet Exodus of Serbs still happening in Croatia

BANJALUKA, August 5 /SRNA/ – Head of the Documents and Information Collecting Centre Veritas Savo Štrbac says that 24 years after the expulsion of Serbs from the Republic of Serbian Krajina nothing much has changed because there are less and less Serbs in Croatia and their quiet exodus is in place.

“People leave Krajina every day, no one is fleeing anything good, they are fleeing evil. Two years from now, census results in Croatia will probably exceed a desired prediction of Franjo Tuđman from the early 1990s that the Serb issue in Croatia would be resolved once and for all and that there will be less than 3% of them there,” Štrbac told the press in Banjaluka on Monday after a memorial service to Serbs killed in the Croatian military and police operation Storm.

Štrbac said Croatia was using all kinds of ways to show that crimes committed during Storm were individual incidents and that they were not planned by the Croatian government.

He recalled that two members of the Croatian Army had so far been convicted for Storm crimes, Božo Baćelić, an ethnic Albanian whose real name is Rexhep Đindžić, and ethnic Serb Rajko Kričković.

“When Croatia wants to convict someone, it chooses ethnic Albanians and Serbs, such as Baćelić and Kričković,” said Štrbac adding: “It does this under pretences that Croats did not commit any crimes because their religion prohibits killing and setting things on fire.”

Banjaluka-based lawyer Slobodan Perić, who is a refugee from Croatia, told the press there were almost no Serbs in that country and that the little of them left were old people who had gone there to die.

“Serbs have almost no political life in Croatia. Croatia is doing all in its power to disable any kind of political return of Serbs,” said Perić.

Recalling the events in the Republic of Serbian Krajina 24 years ago, Perić said that one of the gravest crimes of the past century happened in Krajina, the persecution and ethnic cleansing against Serb civilians.

“Reconciliation in these parts won’t be possible until the truth about the past war, the disintegration and break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the war in Croatia and in BiH is known,” said Perić.

A memorial service for Serbs killed in the Croatian Operation Storm carried out 24 years ago on the Republic of Serbian Krajina was held at the Cathedral Church of Jesus Christ the Saviour in Banjaluka on Monday.

The main event commemorating the Day of Remembrance of Killed and Expelled Serbs during the Croatian armed operation Storm was held outside the Krušedol Monastery in Serbia on Sunday in the presence of top officials from Republika Srpska and Serbia.

Operation Storm began on August 4, 1995 with an offensive of the Croatian military and police troops and Croatian Defence Council in the area of Banija, Lika, Kordun, and northern Dalmatia.

One day later, on August 5, the Croatian troops entered an almost deserted Knin and hoisted the Croatian flag there, while convoys of refugees were fleeing to Serbia across the Serb territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to the data supplied by Veritas Centre, more than 220,000 Krajina Serbs were banished from their homes during the operation, while 1,869 killed and missing Serbs, including 1,220 civilians are registered in records.

The International Court of Justice in its February 2015 judgement qualified Operation Storm as ethnic cleansing, not as genocide, even though world experts claim Operation Storm had all elements of genocide.

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