Anniversary of Croatia's "Flash" onslaught
BELGRADE -- Today marks the 14th anniversary of an attack on the Serb-inhabited western parts of Slavonia, staged by the Croatian forces.
A boy takes part in the ceremonies today (Beta)
The operation, known as Bljesak (Flash), took place in the territory of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serb Krajina (RSK).
The attacks started on May 1, 1995, when the town of Pakrac came under artillery fire, and continued for two days.
The Croatian army assumed control of the area, killing a large number of Serb civilians, and driving some 30,000 from their homes in Western Slavonia.
A service for some 300 victims will be held in Belgrade's St. Marko church this Friday.
A Croatian Helsinki Committee report, presented on July 24, 2003, says that a total of 83 civilians were murdered by the Croatian forces, and adds that 30 were killed when refugee columns were attacked, while 53 were murdered in their homes.
The documentation-information center Veritas announced that "on May 1, 1995, Croatian armed forces conducted an aggression on the Western Slavonia area where some 15,000 Serbs lived under UN protection".
"In only 36 hours, 283 people were either killed or went missing, 57 of them women and nine children. The Croats buried 168 Serbs, mostly listing them as "unidentified", and those bodies have to date not been exhumed and indentified," the center stated.
The president of the Association of Refugee Organizations of Serbs from Croatia, Milojko Budimir, told reporters in Belgrade today after the church service for the victims that even after 14 years, no one has been held accountable for the crimes committed against the Serbs, "neither in front of the Hague Tribunal, nor in front of the domestic courts".
He said that the association will continue to point out to the international community that it must exert additional pressure on Croatia in order to have the victims' graves exhumed, and have them buried according to Orthodox Christian rites.
Another task, Budimir said, will be to ask that the Serb property in Croatia be reinstated to the rightful owners.
He spoke in favor of blocking Croatia's EU integration until this country carries out all the obligations it undertook toward the refugees that are Croatian citizens.
Vicar Episcope Atanasije, who conducted the church service today in his own name, and on behalf of SPC Patriarch His Holiness Pavle, said he is unable to forget the scenes of the elderly, women and children fleeing their homes in front of the Croatian soldiers, "trained to kill".
"We pray that all those who have soiled their hands with human blood repent. The cure against the evil is for the criminals to repent. We pray that God gives us strength to once again hear the Evangelical message – peace on earth, good will among men," the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) dignitary said during the ceremony.
Also in Belgrade on Friday, First Deputy PM Ivica Dačić said that the 1995 Croatian operation "could have been avoided with a more united and unified policy of the Serb representatives in the RSK, the Republic of Srpska and Yugoslavia".
"Serbia should fight to make sure that the Serbs driven out of Croatia accomplish their right to return to their homes," he said, and added, "if they cannot or do not want to do so, then they will be equals in Serbia".
April 27, 2009 | 19:21 | Source: B92, FoNet | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian police (MUP) have arrested Sreten Jocić, a.k.a. Joca Amsterdam, in connection to last year's murder of a Croatian journalist and publisher.
April 28, 2009 | 10:00 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Crime boss Sreten Jocić was held overnight at Belgrade police HQ, but not questioned over his suspected involvement in the murder of a Croatian journalist.
April 28, 2009 | 12:46 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BANJA LUKA -- The Bosnian courts have decided to transfer the case against Naser Orić for war crimes committed in Srebrenica and Bratunac to the national prosecution.
April 29, 2009 | 12:20 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian crime boss Jočić, who has denied any involvement in the murder of Croatian journalist Ivo Pukanić, will be questioned by the investigative judge today.
April 29, 2009 | 15:33 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
NOVI SAD -- One person has been injured in a shooting near Novi Sad, according to local police.
April 30, 2009 | 12:33 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Special Court has remanded crime boss Sreten Jočić in custody for one month on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a Croatian journalist.
April 30, 2009 | 15:05 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The president of the Association of Displaced Roma from Kosovo has been accused of abuse of office and ripping needy Romas off to the tune of EUR 3,500.
April 30, 2009 | 11:20 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
NOVI PAZAR -- An unknown assailant has fired several shots at police officer Momčilo Biorac in Novi Pazar, according to local police HQ.
May 1, 2009 | 19:11 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- A recent attempted murder of a police officer in Novi Pazar was not ethnically motivated, says Interior Minister Ivica Dačič.
May 1, 2009 | 10:04 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
KURŠUMLIJA -- Serbian police (MUP) officers found a "large amount of weapons and explosive devices" in the village of Donja Mikuljana near Kuršumlija, it was announced.
April 30, 2009 | 16:24 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Economy Minister Mlađan Dinkić has been ordered to pay damages of EUR 4,700 for making slanderous remarks about Anti-Corruption Council President Verica Barać.
April 25, 2009 | 11:19 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian police (MUP) suspect that the bodies found in a jeep set on fire yesterday were those of Goran Marić and Ilija Novović.
April 27, 2009 | 09:38 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (18) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Unknown perpetrators stole several dozen kilograms of narcotics from the Kosovo police, KPS, main command evidence room in Priština.
April 25, 2009 | 16:54 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian police (MUP) officers have arrested three persons on suspicion that they had committed numerous kidnappings and extortions.
April 25, 2009 | 14:17 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian police (MUP) announced that its officers have arrested five minors on suspicion that they planned to attack New Belgrade Roma.
April 28, 2009 | 20:13 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian police (MUP) in Belgrade says its officers have arrested a man believed to have set up a fraudulent scheme.
April 26, 2009 | 18:01 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The chief of Vojislav Šešelj's defense team says that the leader of the Radicals (SRS) is subjected to "quiet murder" at the Hague Tribunal.
April 27, 2009 | 15:25 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimr Vukčević on Monday in Belgrade met with U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Cameron Munter.