ZAGREB, Aug 1, 2020 – Deputy Prime Minister Davor Bozinovic on Saturday attended the 29th annual commemoration for the defenders of Dalj, saying their deaths were a tragic but proud moment of the Homeland War which showed the firmness of those who defended their country with the strength of heart and true patriotism.
He said that “in 1991, before the formation of the Croatian army, police forces played a very significant part in resisting the enemy.”
“The police officers of this station were helped by members of the National Guard Corps, Civil Protection and the people of Dalj,” Bozinovic said, adding that one tank shell fired today in 1991 killed 20 police, 15 guards and four Civil Protection members.
“But they didn’t think that the atrocity they committed here would be one of the decisive events for raising the morale of the Croatian people in defending and liberating their country.”
We should be proud of the Croatian courage, perseverance and strength of unity because this tragedy determined the further course of the Homeland War, Bozinovic said.
The defence of the Dalj police station was one in a series of confirmations of the dedication of the Croatian police to the enforcement of the law and the preservation of the constitutional and legal order, democratic values and the integrity of our country, he added.
Wreaths were laid outside the police station and Mass was celebrated for the victims at the Dalj church.
Reporters asked Bozinovic, who also serves as interior minister, about war crimes investigations and the war missing.
He said the investigations and the search for the missing was a priority of the government, the relevant ministries and other institutions. “There is intensive inter-departmental cooperation which has already delivered results and I’m sure it will do so in the future as well. When it comes to Dalj, criminal complaints have been filed and they are being processed.”
Honouring all innocent war victims is a civilisational achievement
Bozinovic was asked to comment on Homeland Movement MP Ivan Penava’s statement that this year’s Grubori commemoration was a political trade-off and equating the 1995 Operation Storm and individual crimes.
He said the government had been continuously working on building political relations in Croatia.
“A responsible policy should create conditions so that we can turn to future challenges as successfully and with as little baggage from the past as possible. Talking about equating is groundless. The Storm anniversary is one of the most important dates in Croatia and will remain so, so one can’t talk about any equating, nor is it appropriate to talk about that in that way. Honouring all war victims is a civilisational achievement.”