Operation Storm victims remembered in Serbia, RS

Memorial services for the Serb victims of the Operation Storm were held in Belgrade’s St. Mark’s Church and Banja Luka’s Holy Trinity Church on Sunday.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

The commemorations were organized by associations of refugees and families of the victims.

Hundreds of citizens gathered in St. Mark's Church to pay their respects to the victims. Belgrade Mayor Dragan Đilas was among them.

"Brothers and sister, one is perplexed as to what to think and feel and how to live again in such a world. Those who can celebrate the Storm can repeat it,” said Bishop Atanasije Rakita.

“Many of those who celebrate it say they are all Gotovina and Markač,” he added.

“The position of Serbs who stayed there can deteriorate now,” Association of Serbs from Croatia President Milojko Budimir told Beta news agency.

He said that the decision has disappointed Serbia and distanced Serbs from the EU pathway.

The organizers say they wanted to send a message that a trial of Croat Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač for crimes against Serb civilians during the Operation Storm was just a farce aimed at exonerating world powers and officials responsible for the civil war and the exodus of the Serb population from Croatia.

Gotovina was initially sentenced to 24 and Markač to 18 years in prison. They were found guilty of taking part in the joint criminal enterprise that killed 2,000 and expelled 200,000 Serbs in August 1995.

However, they were acquitted of almost all charges for the crimes against Serbs by the Hague Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber on Friday.

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