news 16 Sep 13

Croatia Monument to Serb War Victims Vandalised

One of the few memorials in the country to Serb civilians killed during the Croatian Army’s Operation Storm in 1995 was attacked by vandals in the village of Golubic.

Boris Pavelic

Local police confirmed on Friday that the stone monument to 19 Serb civilians murdered during Operation Storm in August 1995 had been vandalised overnight by unknown assailants in Golubic near the Croatian town of Knin.

Police said however that the cost of the damage only amounted to “several thousand kuna” (less than 1,000 euro).

But victims’ group Suza (Tear), which represents families of people missing since wartime and which installed the monument in Golubic, expressed sorrow about the attack.

“The pain and disappointment of the families of missing persons is even greater since we know that about 2,000 people are still missing from the period 1991-1995,” Suza said in a statement.

Croatian human rights group Documenta said this was “one of the few monuments memorialising Serb victims in Croatia”.

Documenta called on the police to investigate and for state institutions, local authorities and civil society groups to work out a way to establish permanent memorials for wartime victims.

At least 19 villagers from Golubic, all of them Serbs, were murdered on August 6, 1995, the third day of the military operation codenamed Storm which saw Croatian forces seize bath swathes of territory in the country from Serb control.

No one has ever prosecuted for the Golubic killings.

On Sunday, two days after the attack on the village memorial, a huge Operation Storm monument in the centre of Knin, just a few kilometres from Golubic, was also slightly damaged in what Croatian war veterans claimed was a revenge attack.

Police said that the damage was minor, but Croatia’s veterans’ association condemned what it called a “barbaric act” and demanded an investigation, saying that “this wasn’t the first time that the Storm monument was a target for vandals”.

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