Remembrance ceremony for 100 Serb civilians killed in 1995 held in town of Dvor

Remembrance ceremony for 100 Serb civilians killed in 1995 held in town of Dvor

Remembrance ceremony for 100 Serb civilians killed in 1995 held in town of Dvor Izvor: N1/Tina Kosor Giljević

A commemoration for about 100 Serbs killed during and in the immediate aftermath of the 1995 military Operation Storm was held in Dvor on Monday, organised by the Serb National Council (SNV).

"We came to honour the victims who we must not forget until we hear the words which will comfort those who remain and until those who committed the crime are tried," said SNV Council chairman Milorad Pupovac.

That is expected also by Croats whose dearest ones were killed as well as by Serbs in Croatia, where their fellow countrymen were killed, he added.

Commemorated at the local cemetery were the 64 victims from a mass grave who, Pupovac said, were mainly killed in a refuge column, and those whose bodies have not been found.

A crime committed after military operations have ended represents a gross breach of international humanitarian laws, he said, adding that an SNV delegation visited 15 villages in which 200 innocents had been killed. Particularly serious was the killing of psychiatric patients, he said.

The commemoration heard that on 8 August 1995, in the Dvor elementary school, ten infirm, ill and abandoned Serbs brought from a psychiatric hospital and retirement home in Petrinja were killed before a Danish UNPROFOR battalion.

The Danish soldiers only recorded that a group of soldiers in uniforms without insignia broke into the school and committed the massacre, which still hasn't been cleared up, it was said.

The head of the Documenta Centre for Dealing with the Past, Vesna Terselic, said she was concerned because that massacre had not been fully investigated.

In the spirit of developing trust and peace, she called on Croatia's judiciary, executive and legislative authorities as well as the department for POWs and the war missing to intensify investigations and the prosecution of war crimes committed during and after Operation Storm as well as the identification of missing Serbs and Croats.

Terselic said the crime in Dvor should receive more media coverage. She said that neither Croatian nor Serbian prosecutors "have managed to establish if the perpetrators were from the Croatian army or Arkan's units, i.e. the Serb army or BiH. We must hear those stories and that says there is still a lot to be done."

After the commemoration, Pupovac told press that the fact that Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic would attend the Operation Storm anniversary in Knin and Veterans Minister Tomo Medved the Grubori commemoration were important events of which much was expected.

"That's the beginning of the creation of a culture of peace, a policy of remembrance in which there will be room for both Croat and Serb victims. It's equally important that those gestures will be made by two men who lost their next of kin in the last war. They have decided to take that path, which I consider to be an extremely important and significant message."

It is necessary to distinguish between those who suffered and lost everything, because everyone must understand their anger, and those who are trying to exploit that suffering and justified anger for political gain, and not accept them, Pupovac said.

Milosevic's and Medved's gestures "are aimed at stopping the use of the suffering on both sides against others 25 years after the war. Everyone must hear a word of sympathy and a word of regret which the largest number of people will understand."

POVEZANE VIJESTI

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