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Dossier Serbian Krajina: A country without people


AFTER THE AGGRESSION OF CROATIA ON THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIAN KRAJINA

It is written in the encyclopedia that the first recorded settling of Serbs in Krajina started as early as the 15th century, after the penetration of Turks further inland in the Balkan Peninsula and after the fall of the Bosnian state. In order to prevent further progress of Turks towards Central Europe, Austro-Hungary in the area of the present-day Serbian Krajina formed from Serbs, a strong defence fortification, or more precisely, a zone defended by the Serbian soldiers. And they were at that time considered to be the best in Europe. The so-called Military Krajina (Vojna Krajina) comprised northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun, Banija and Bosnian Krajina ( Western Bosnia). Serbian population and Serbian settlers in these areas were receiving from the Court in Vienna the land and were exempt from taxes and other dues, as one of the conditions for them to serve the army and defend Krajina from the new Turkish penetrations towards Central Europe. At that time, Serbs in Military Krajina had their cultural and religious autonomy, as well as a political (people's) self-administration. They were privileged (richer social strata of citizens and free farmers) in respect to the majority of serfs under the Hungarian feudal lords. Only a few of the noblemen from amongst Croats could expect to make a military carrier and better themselves in the social status. For this reason, many serfs-Croats, dissatisfied with their position, were joining Krajina Serbs and were thus freed from feudal and serfal servitude. All through the time, until the great interior crisis erupted in the Habsburg monarchy, the relations between Serbs (Orthodox) and Croats (Catholics) were mostly tolerant and correct. They were speaking the same language, they even shared the same churches with two altars, which has remain the practice until the 19th century. Therefore, the main and the significant difference between them was in their social status. If there were some disputes, they never had an ethnic character. The time of growing Catholicism and the withdrawal of Turks towards the south-east in the 17th and the 18th century, however, was the time when first intolerance started to erupt.

FIRST DISPUTES BETWEEN SERBS AND CROATS

The growth and strengthening of the Catholic Church in these areas has initiated the eruption of violent unification (conversion of Serbs). Against their fee will, forced to adopt Roman-Catholic religious services, parts of Serbs in Krajina and especially in northern Dalmatia and the Coastal area, were gradually losing their ethnic character and were assimilated by the Croat (Catholic) environment. Those Serbs who did not renounce on their Orthodox faith, as well as those who have accepted the conversion but have retained their ethnic (Serbian) awareness, were being persecuted. This became especially emphatic with the strengthening of the Croat etatistic consciousness (in the second half of 19th century) and under the circumstances of weakening of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the departure of Turks from the Balkans, which left Serbs in Krajina practically devoid of their role of the European defense shield. In spite of these unfavorable developments of the historical circumstances for Serbs, they maintained in Military Krajina their compact ethnic entity. Historical events also helped them when in the year 1918, after the fall of the Austro Hungarian empire, the first Yugoslavia was created, where Serbs had given the greatest contribution through the Balkan liberation wars, expulsion of Turks from the Balkans and the victory in the World War One. In this first Yugoslavia, however, the feud between Serbs and Croats continued, to be accelerated by the coming into power of Hitler in Germany in the year 1933 and the assassination of King Alexander Karadjordjevic in 1934. Immediately prior to the World War Two the disputes between Serbs and Croats resulted, under the exterior pressure of Germany, in the formation of the Banovina Croatia. After the fall of Germany and Italy and the disintegration of the First Yugoslavia in 1941, on a broader area of Banovina Croatia and with the support of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was created. It is a question here of a puppet-state, a Ustashi-Fascist concoction which included also the region of Serbian (Military) Krajina. That is when the first massive genocide started over Serbs and a mass exodus of Serbian people towards Serbia. In the basic Ustashi ideology of the NDH the key position was devoted to the program of extermination of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies and the creation of an ethnically "clean Croat state". In the period 1941-1945 some 900, 000 Serbs were killed, and several hundreds of thousands of Serbs, escaping in the face of the Ustashi criminals, had found refuge in Serbia.



KRAJINA SERBS DURING WORLD WAR TWO

After the fall of the First Yugoslavia in 1941, faced with the danger of total annihilation in the Ustashi-Fascist state of Ante Pavelic, Krajina Serbs rebelled. They formed one of the strongest resistance movements in Europe. Military skills of Krajina Serbs based on centuries-long tradition of military resistance to Turks, now came to the fore. Thus, the main body of partisan units in the anti-Fascist struggle of the Yugoslav partisans in the territory of the NDH, for a long time - until September 1943 - consisted mostly of the Krajina Serbs. The key military positions in the ranks of the partisan army were held by the very able warriors - Serbian officers, and the largest number of victims in the people's liberation war 1941-1945 was suffered by Serbs. The experience of genocide and their role in the people's liberation war were the main reasons why, after the end of the war and liberation of the country in 1945, Krajina Serbs in the then-federal Croatia as a component part of second Yugoslavia, were granted the status of the constituent people. At the session of the Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Croatia held in Topusko in 1944, a historical agreement was reached between Serbs and Croats on an equitable joint life in the joint federal state of Croatia within the framework of second Yugoslavia.
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Dossier Serbian Krajina: A country without people


ROOTS OF CROAT SECESSION IN 1991

In the period 1945-1991 the position of Krajina Serbs in the federal Croatia was only at the beginning in accordance with the proclaimed principles established in Topusko. The aspirations of Croats to have their own and ethnically pure state (without Serbs) were only temporarily suppressed by the fall of NDH in the World War Two. These tendencies, however, were revived again by the beginning of the seventies in order to reach their peak in the year 1971 in the form the so-called Maspok (or Mass Movement). At that time the Croat political leaders swimming down the stream of Croat nationalism, under the influence of immigration and revival of neo-Ustashis, made a demand for an independent state of Croatia. This attempt was a failure, but in the new federal Constitution of the year 1974 and republican constitutions of the year 1976, political assumptions were given for the secession of Croatia from Yugoslavia. At the same time, this marked the beginning of new persecution and exodus of Krajina Serbs, but only the appropriate moment was awaited for the decisive pressure to be made. When Tito died in 1980, the road was open for this to be brought into life. At the head of the movement for secession of Croatia from Yugoslavia - the Croat Democratic Community (HDZ) - came the retired General Franjo Tudjman, a Croat nationalist of conviction. He was creating political prerequisites, with the nationalists in Croatia and those abroad - the descendants of the Ustashi movement, for the achievement of secessionist aims and chauvinist anti-Serbian targets. Tudjman made also political and other preparations for such an action, he asked for and obtained support from abroad, most of all the support of Germany and of Vatican, therefore, those same centers which at the time have helped Ante Pavelic create his monstrous, genocidal and Fascist NDH in 1941. Franjo Tudjman who is now proclaimed "father of the Croat nation", was building his program of the new Croat state on the nationalistic and chauvinistic traditions of the "first father of the nation" Ante Starcevic and his successor Josip Frank. It is the question here of the rascist concept of the ethnically "clean Croat state". Ante Starcevic was basing his political concept on the slogan that "Croatia belongs to Croats only", that "in Croat lands (including Serbian Krajina) only one people is a political one - the Croat people", that in Croatia "Serbs are not recognized as people". Similar to the Fascist ideology, the idea was also based on the racist, national and religious superiority of Croats over Serbs. In a word, Serbs are nothing, while Croats are a superior race and thus, Croat people can not renew its national state without previously exterminating or expelling the Serbian people. Such insane ideas have served as basis for the formation of Tudjman's program for the creation of "the independent democratic Croatia", whose realization has started by the end of the eighties. The said ideas have found their place in the program of the HDZ the ruling political party of the Croat Democratic Community, headed by Franjo Tudjman. By accepting the symbols of the one-time Ustashi state, Franjo Tudjman, the undisputed leader of the HDZ, says for the Pavelic's NDH even before the secession of Croatia, that it was not a bare "Quisling concoction and a Fascist crime, but an expression of historical strives of Croat people to obtain its own independent state and recognition by the international factors". In this way Franjo Tudjman obviously is trying to establish a continuity between the NDH and the present-day Croatia and with this fact justify all the crimes, ethnic cleansing and extermination of Serbs which, unfortunately, did happen in the civil war of 1991-1995, just as it did in 1941.

FORMATION OF THE WESTERN-MOST SERBIAN STATE

Guided by the historical remembrances, educated by the previous terrible experiences and directly faced with a neo-Ustashi and Fascist ideology at work, Serbs in Serbian Krajina at the beginning of nineties decided to fight for survival on the soil and in the land in which they have been living for centuries. Defending themselves from the new and probably even more atrocious genocide and ethnic cleansing after the secession of Croatia from Yugoslavia, Serbs offered resistance and formed their own state - the Republic of Serbian Krajina with the capital in Knin and the areas in which the Serbian people is living. This was an understandable reaction, under the given circumstances, because by the decisions of the Croat authorities, all the achievements of the anti-Fascist Serbian struggle in the period 1941-1945 have been abolished: after having been deleted from the new Croat constitution as a constituent people, Serbs were transformed into a minority. Starting from the right of Serbian people to self-determination, Serbs in the Republic of Serbian Krajina have, after the secession of Croatia, adopted their own Constitution, formed their own Assembly, Government and judiciary as well as other state institutions. Republic of Croatia under Franjo Tudjman openly strived at any cost to subjugate the Republic of Serbian Krajina and did not abstain from violating international agreements, such as the Vance's plan. This plan was guaranteeing Serbs in Serbian Krajina the protection of the United Nations and was making possible negotiations with the Croat state, without prejudice to the final political solution. Authorities of the Krajina Serbs in Knin, with the support of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, persistently were striving to reach with the Republic of Croatia, through the mediation of the international community, a reasonable and mutually acceptable political agreement. Krajina Serbs and their representatives, of course, did not have any illusion as to what are the final aims of the new Croat state. And they were: expulsion of Serbs from their centuries long hearths or their subjugation (Nolens, volens).

PLAN Z-4

International mediators have offered their plan which would secure for the Serbs in Serbian Krajina an incomplete political (without Constitution, army and foreign policy) and complete cultural autonomy, but all this within the framework of "the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Croatia". According to this plan economic, cultural and other links of Serbs in Serbian Krajina with Serbs in the motherland would be allowed and in the other Serbian countries, and in international organizations. Serbs in Serbian Krajina would have their own coat-of-arms and their flag, their language and alphabet "Cyrillic", their radio-television, police force, their own currency and their president. Krajina government would conduct independent fiscal policy, and the corresponding Krajina legislative bodies would pass laws and there would be a judicial power with first-instance and appellate courts of law. Serbs in Serbian Krajina would take part in election of the central government in Zagreb, of the Croat parliament (Sabor) and the Croat president. One of the renown and reputable Serbian intellectuals who did not refuse political agreement between Serbs and the Croat state, otherwise the president of the Serbian Independent Party, Milorad Pupovac, is of opinion that it is a question of the political autonomy which is having roots in the status which Serbian Krajina already had in the past, when it was Military Krajina, with the difference that now it would not be linked directly with Vienna but with Zagreb.

DIVISIONS

Krajina authorities in Knin were divided in the views as to how they should react to the constat military threats and political pressures from the Republic of Croatia, for the Republic of Serbian Krajina to accept the so-called "peaceful re-integration into the Croat state", and to the attempts by the international community to mediate in finding political solution within the plan Z-4. One line was against negotiations, saying that it was only a play and introduction to total subjugation of the Republic of Serbian Krajina to the new Croat authorities. Thus, it was persistent in refusing the plan Z-4 which also included the military resistance if the Republic of Croatia should try a re-integration by force. This line counted on the support of the opposition in Belgrade. Yugoslav authorities have in principle supported the Z-4 plan. The second and more realistic and pragmatic line in Knin - as well as the government in Serbia - was of opinion that there should be negotiations with the Republic of Croatia. The basis for negotiations in the first phase was the Zagreb agreement between the Krajina Serbs and Croat authorities on the economic issues, as well as the opening of the Zagreb-Belgrade highway, of the oil pipeline and the railway line Zagreb-Split via Knin. This political line of negotiation was supported also by the former Krajina prime minister, a renown businessman Borislav Mikelic, who had in this a clear support of Belgrade, i. e. of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After the end of war of 1991/1992 by the arrival of the United Nations peace forces in Croatia and Bosnia, it had decided in favor of solving the Serbian issue, i. e. the position of Serbs on the other side of Drina River, by political means and with the mediation of the international community, thus, only through negotiations. Such an approach was only formally suitable for the Croat leaders to the extent to which it was making an illusion for the local and international public on the alleged good intentions of the new Croat state.
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Dossier Serbian Krajina: A country without people


CROAT AGGRESSION: OPERATION 'LIGHTENING' AND 'STORM'

Playing on the card of inter-Serbian divisions under changed strategic circumstances, after having armed themselves very well and obtained the support in the international environment, Franjo Tudjman and his followers were constantly instigating and provoking "the hard liners" in the Republic of Serbian Krajina to suspend negotiations and renounce on the implementation of the Zagreb agreement on economic issues. This actually happened by the end of April 1995. Once having received the desired excuse, Croat army on May 1, 1995 penetrated the northern part of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and occupied Western Slavonia. In a cruel and brief military encounter (operation "Lightening") Western Slavonia was cleaned of Serbian old-settlers who escaped to the Republic of Srpska and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Encouraged by this military victory, Croat authorities immediately started preparations for the attack on Knin, the main stronghold and heart of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Zagreb was still playing on the card of interior divisions within the Krajina authorities, which did not draw any lessons from the loss of Western Slavonia, but retained a repulsive attitude towards political negotiations about the plan Z-4. Instead of politically evaluating the fact that Republic of Croatia did not in full accept the plan Z-4, because it was of the view that this plan is offering to the Krajina Serbs a too high degree of political and cultural autonomy, the authorities in Knin with the support of the leadership of the Republic of Srpska in Pale, imprudently pushed the Serbian people of Krajina into a new war adventure. This was perhaps the loss of a historical chance to avoid the Croat aggression and obstruct the true intentions of Croatia, a chance in the face of international public to reveal how much Fascist-oriented the Croat politics are, which was soon to be seen in action. After the failure of negotiations on August 3, 1995 in Geneva, a brutal aggression of Croatia on the Republic of Serbian Krajina took place. The consequence is the mass exodus of the Serbian people, unprecedented in the recent European history. The Republic of Serbian Krajina over only a few days, faced with the attack of over 100, 000 Croat soldiers within the military operation "Storm", was almost completely ethnically cleansed. It is a question of a strategically well thought out and tactically very well prepared and conducted military operation with the direct cooperation of the American military experts, with the logistic support of the NATO military structure and of the western sponsors of the Republic of Croatia. The most influential political and state centers in the West have only formally condemned the aggression of Croatia, while in the essence they are satisfied with such an outcome. By applying the policy of double standards, however, the Croat allies have found themselves at a loss how to justify the most massive exodus of one people from its centuries long homes. Not little confusion was caused also by the direct announcement of settling there of Croats - "Croatization of Krajina", and the factual banning of return of the exiled Serbs. Crimes committed over Serbian civilians, including a large number of women, children and aged, have caused the great part of the world public, even the western and mostly anti-Serbian, to be appalled.

CROATIZATION OF KRAJINA

Croat leader Franjo Tudjman immediately following the exodus of 250, 000 Serbs from the Republic of Serbian Krajina announced settling of Croats in this emptied space, Croats from all over the world. He publicly called upon them to come to Serbian Krajina and appropriate the homes and farms of exiled Krajina Serbs. Having forcibly and by military occupation changed the demographic structure of Serbian Krajina, now certain Croat leaders, as is the notorious Croat nationalist and chauvinist in the Croat parliament (Sabor) Vladimir Seks, are demanding the census of population. In accordance with the results obtained from this census which is well known in advance - Seks proposes to abolish the constitutional law of the Republic of Croatia on the rights of national communities or minorities. This law was formally granting Serbs a special status in the counties in which they were a majority. "The Ethnically Clean Croatia" - an unrealized dream of both Hitler and Pavelic - would now become a reality 50 years after their miserable fall. But Serbs who had a large share in the victory of the anti-Nazi coalition, are now expelled from the homes of their ancestors, robbed and humiliated, and are suffering once again from the arms and plans of a new and a rather strange genocidal alliance. The reports of the United Nations representatives are bearing witness to plundering of Serbian property, burning down and mining by eplosives of Serbian homes and killing of the remaining, mostly aged Serbs who were unable either to hide themselves or evacuate on time. President of the Croat Sabor, Nedeljko Mihanovic, reproaching those who are calling upon the exiled Serbs to return, said that the eventual return of Serbs "could complicate Croat future". For the Serbs never again to even wish to return to the Serbian Krajina, care was taken by the Croat chauvinists who have in an organized way attacked, harassed and stoned endless and kilometers long convoys of refugees moving towards the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This has appalled even those who are on the Croat side such as the U. S. Ambassador in Zagreb Peter Gallbright. The exiled Serbs have found refuge in the homeland - the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). In the country which is still chained by sanctions, economically impoverished and pushed years into underdevelopment, suppressed and humiliated by the so-called democratic world. Even under such circumstances, just like in the far away year of 1941, Serbia and Montenegro have remained fully opened to the refuged Serbs. So far over 150, 000 refugees Serbs from Serbian Krajina have been registered who have entered Serbia and Montenegro.

SERBIAN KRAJINA: LAND WITHOUT PEOPLE

Croat President Franjo Tudjman, under the pressures from abroad and the pressure of testimonies, now is "correcting himself" and saying that Croatia "will receive those individuals (without mentioning Serbs) who have not done any wrong and who wish to come to Croatia as its citizens". Therefore, only individuals from amongst some 500, 000 of refugees, Serbs, from the beginning of war in 1991 (during the latest exodus of 1995 Serbian lands were abandoned by some 250, 000 Serbs) can return to the regions where they have lived for over 400 years. Serbian Krajina is now a land without people. In this respect, there is a characteristic statement by the member of the Helsinki Federation for Human Rights William Hayden who states that the return of exiled Serbs in Krajina is systematically obstructed. Croat claims that there was no burning of civilian property or plundering, Hayden has denounced as false, accusing the Croat Army of systematic plundering and burning down of Serbian homes. In this way he has only confirmed previous finds of the representatives of the United Nations. Ethnic cleansing of Serbs, as a constant line of the Croat politics, could soon be also attempted in Eastern Slavonia. Such an attempt could have grave not to say fatal consequences not only for the Serbian and Croat people, but also for the other peoples in the Balkans and in Europe.
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Dossier Serbian Krajina: A country without people


"Serbs in Krajina: past and future" ABC Saint-Bar

Madrid, 3/4 April - After Constantinopolis fell to Muslims in 1453, the Balkans were conquered within a short period of time. The whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied in 1463. After reaching the borders of the Austrian Monarchy, the Turks started their regular raids into the territory of this Germanic empire. They robbed and laid waste to everything. A few times they even reached the Alps. They came to Ljubljana too, the capital of Slovenia. During those raids, the local populace had to take refuge in the woods. Most often, however, they would leave those unsafe areas and emigrate northwards. Fleeing, these people would come as far as Bavaria and Italy. In that way, a true no man's land appeared at the southern borders of the Holy German Roman Empire, a kind of cordon sanitaire that the imperial authorities decided to make into a fortified borderland. Therefore, the Vienna authorities started to systematically settle this area with Serbs since the 15th century. In that way, a true military border was created. Settled in that protective belt zone, through the centuries, the Serbs turned into real warriors. In the Krajina region, their closed ranks were the best defense of the monarchy against the Turk attacks. In the 17th century, a military government was formed in the Austrian city of Graz. Its primary task was to organize the settlement of Serbs, who would later turn into the Austrian defense shield. In that way, the whole of Krajina was turned into a Serbian province. The Austrian Emperor solemnly confirmed the privileges given to Serbs on many occasions. He did it for the first time on September 5, 1538, and again on March 8, 1659. This, then, was the way in which the military border in Krajina came into being. It could be said that, through the centuries to come, there were no major conflicts between Serbs and Croats in that region. At the same time, a significant number of Serbs lived in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. In 1905, the Serbian-Croatian Political Coalition was formed in Zagreb. It played an active role in negotiations over the formation of Yugoslavia held during WW I. The Croatian political leaders were saying without wavering that they consider Serbs and Croats to be branches of one and the same nation. This was particularly stressed by Stjepan Radic, the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party which was supported by the majority of Croatian peasantry. The only real antagonism between the Serbian and the Croatian population occurred during WW II. The Nazis attacked and destroyed a big part of Yugoslavia, and they established the Ustasha government in Zagreb. This Fascist state was led by Ante Pavelic who committed a terrible genocide against Serbs and Jews between 1941 and 1945. It is estimated that more than 600. 000 of them were killed in that period. After WW II, and during the last fifty years, the Serbian and Croatian population lived in perfect harmony. This is proven by the fact that between 15 and 20 per cent of the children born there come from the mixed marriages between the Serbs and Croats. Unfortunately, the upheavals of the last three years had suddenly put into question the peaceful co-existence of those two peoples, particularly since Croatia one-sidedly decided to secede and leave the Yugoslav federation. This decision is against the norms of the international law.

The Zagreb Government wanted to preserve the internal, administrative borders set up by Tito in 1974, which were not international in character. The new Croatian constitution neglected the rights of Serbs and the legal status they enjoyed in the Krajina region since 15th century while they were still living under the Vienna authority. This arbitrary decision was supported first by the German government, and later by almost all of the international community. There were 700. 000 Serbs living in Krajina who did not want it to be a part of the new state. That's why they proclaimed another, sovereign state in Knin. If the Serbs in Krajina could, in the last instance, accept a sovereign Croat state, it would be only just to grant the same right to Krajina, an autonomous region since the 15th century. Thanks to the UNPROFOR, Krajina is living in peace since 1991. The one-sided Tudjman's decision to expel the 12. 500 peace keepers from Krajina represented the danger of the resumption of fierce hostilities. Under the international pressure, the president of Croatia agreed that UNPROFOR should stay, but under the condition that their number be reduced to 5. 000. He is also demanding that the UNPROFOR soldiers control the borders dividing Krajina from Serbia and Bosnia, so as to prevent the military aid from these two countries from reaching the Krajina Serbs. Were the Krajina Serbs to agree to this proposal, they would face a serious threat of the attack from the Croatian regular army. The Croatian army has, in concert with the Muslim army of Alija Izetbegovic, already intervened in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is something that gives the Krajina Serbs reasons for caution. Now that Croatia has decided to let the UN forces remain in this region, the German Foreign Minister, Claus Kinkel demanded that the president of Serbia Milosevic recognize Croatia. Milosevic refused to do so. It seems strange that the West is asking for the recognition of this country, which had never in modern history had state sovereignty, and which refuses to recognize Yugoslavia, now reduced to Serbia and Montenegro, which exists since 1918, and which had been one of the founders of the United Nations in 1944. Of all the former Yugoslav republics, only Serbia and Montenegro had been independent states in the 19th century. The Croatian government and Krajina should find a solution that would guarantee autonomy for the Krajina Serbs, which is the only way of reaching a lasting peace in that region of the former Yugoslavia.

- By CHRIS HEDGES 1995 New York Times News Service, 9/30/95
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Dossier Serbian Krajina: A country without people


Nearly two months after Croatian forces drovemore than 120, 000 Serbian troops and civilians from the Krajinaregion of Croatia, Serbian villages continue to burn and an averageof four to six Serbian civilians are found dead each day, sayofficials of the United Nations and the European Union "Since the August offensive, U. N. patrols have documented a systematic campaign of arson, murder and looting by the Croatian military, '' said Alun R. Roberts, the U. N. press officer in Knin. He said Croatian troops had "destroyed whole Serb villages, making it impossible for those Serbs who fled to return. "Our U. N. patrols are continuing to find bodies, usually of elderly Serbs, killed in their homes. Despite repeated requests by the U. N. to the Croatian authorities to intervene, they appear to make little effort, and usually do nothing. '' The killing of elderly Serbs, many of them too weak to flee, has shocked and angered U. N. and European Union monitors here. Many of the victims lived alone in abandoned hamlets, where they would be visited by aid workers bringing food. In recent weeks many have been found dead, usually with a single bullet wound in the head. Earlier this month, Croatian special forces made a sweep through the largely deserted Plavno Valley, where some 40 Serbian hamlets lie abandoned or in ruins. U. N. peacekeepers following the sweep found two elderly men dead, one shot in the back of the head and the other with his throat cut. The next day, the United Nations found three more elderly Serbs killed, including a 90-year-old woman. "Evidence of atrocities, an average of six corpses a day, continues to emerge, '' says the latest European Union rights report. "The corpses, some fresh, some decomposed, are mainly old men. Many have been shot in the back of the head or had throats slit. Others have been mutilated. Isolated pockets of elderly civilians report people gone missing or detained. ''

"Of 102 civilians and 126 military personnel, only 57 were apparently identifiable. It seems rather strange that so many should have been without ID cards. ECMM has interviewed witnesses who say their Serb relatives were definitely carrying IDs when they were killed, however their names do not appear on any of the lists. The Croatian authorities have stated that fingerprints and photographic records have been kept of all the unidentified bodies .. . "

The suspicions of the European monitors have increased in recent weeks, as their report makes clear. "Granic a Croatian official stated on 24 August that of all the 524 victims from Operation Storm, only 24 civilians had been identified, when in SS (UN Sector South) alone there were 33 identified civilian corpses on 11 August. The figures are either extremely inaccurate or there are mass graves unaccounted for. It can only be presumed that the tip of the iceberg. " If any observers remain unconvinced by this devastating assessment, they have only to read the report of the UN human-rights team, led by Petr Soucek, which wrote to the organisation's humanitarian- affairs officer from south-western Krajina on 30 August. "In Gracac gravesite we saw 81 graves (crosses), " his report said. "Only a few crosses bore a name of the soldiers. There were 22 more crosses than on 18 August when the site had been visited last time. In Korenica grave site, we found 21 crosses .. . with no names" Then the report takes on a chilling tone. "In the Czech battalion area located in Korenica, I was informed by the Operations officer that on Sunday 5 August, 21 Serb civilians had been seen .. . chased by Croatian soldiers along the Czech battalion base. Later on, soldiers had heard inhuman screaming and then shooting. It might be just a coincidence between those 21 civilians and the 21 graves with no names on them!"

- The Independent September 5, 1995 Croatians count toll in a 'clean war'; By: Robert Fisk

Nor is there any end to the Croatian depredations in formerly Serb Krajina. Over the weekend, Croatian troops burned 98 per cent of the houses in five more deserted Serb villages in the Cetine valley, once home to around 1, 800 Serbs. The graffiti on a wall which I saw in the gutted village of Kistanje, west of Knin, summed up the emotions of the victorious Croatian army whose supposed discipline has been widely praised in Croatia and abroad. "Ovo ste trazili, " it said. "You were asking for it. " Following the banishment of about 200, 000 Serbs from the Krajina, the number of Serbs who remained in Croatia is 150, 000 at most, out of 600, 000 who had lived there before the crisis, says "la Liberation" claiming that the nationalist authorities have deprived the Serbian population of all minority rights. They have already gone back on the autonomy status of the Serbian area, electoral rights of the Serbs, establishment of the human rights tribunal etc. All this has been done on the eve of new parliamentary elections. Moreover, for the purpose of the forthcoming population census in Croatia a category of "non-citizen" has been introduced.

"Zagreb lagalises ethnic cleansing" LA LIBERATION, Paris Sept '95

"The authorities of Franjo Tudjman do not recognize Serbs as citizens, but grant Croatian citizenship to Bosnian Croats who have never lived in Croatia. This is not merely ethnic cleansing, this is racist policy". While stressing this point, the extensive report in "La Liberation" concludes with a warning that all these crimes and terror elicited "reticent objections on the part of Europe and America, but without any results". -

"The Great Mover" by Boris Dezulovic Feral Tribune, Split, Croatia, 9/11 1995

Vicepresident of the Croatian government Bosiljko Misetic publicly summarized at a press conference the thoughts behind the statements of the Great Transporter: "Croatia doesn't want people of non-Croatian ethnicity living in her. "

"U. S. -trained forces massacre Serbs" By Gary Wilson Via Workers World News Service Reprinted from the Oct. 12, 1995 issue of Workers World newspaper

An open letter from the Belgrade-based Serbian-Jewish Friendship Society to the American Jewish Committee says that "anti-Serbian propaganda" is "a twin sister of anti- Semitism. " The letter states that today in Croatia a policy of eliminating the Serbs is being carried out. This policy is so thorough that "in Croatia there are ŠnowĆ no more Serbs than there are Jews in Germany or Poland. " The letter is signed by the chief rabbi of Yugoslavia as well as many other prominent Jews of Yugoslavia. But this letter has not been referred to in the U. S. media.

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