ZAGREB, Aug 3 2020 – Several human rights organisations on Monday welcomed the “positive institutional progress” made ahead of the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm, expressing hope that it would be followed up with specific solutions to ensure the exercise of long-awaited rights by civilian victims of the 1991-1995 war.
The ROSA Centre for Women Victims of War, the Centre for Civil Courage, the Banja Luka-based Centre for Democracy and Transitional Justice, the Sarajevo-based Association for Social Research and Communications, and the Women’s Network of Croatia welcomed the decision by Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic, of the Independent Democratic Serb Party, to attend the commemoration of Operation Storm in Knin on August 4.
Also, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Tomo Medved, will be attending a commemoration in Grubori where five elderly Serbs were killed on August 25, 1995 in the wake of Operation Storm.
“We welcome the positive institutional progress made in recent days and hope that these symbolic steps will be followed up with specific solutions to ensure the exercise of long-awaited rights by civilian victims of the war,” the non-governmental organisations said in a joint statement.
Citizens of Croatia were called upon “to seize the initiative because the political elites have for too long used the traumas of the war for purposes of daily politics and glorified war crimes instead of condemning them.”
The NGOs noted that many people remained unaccounted-for from the war and that those responsible for ethnic cleansing and war crimes had not been brought to justice to date. In order to stop the abuse of the war and militarisation of the state, they called for promoting a culture of accountability, facing the past, and showing sincere solidarity with all war victims.