BELGRADE – President of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in the Republic of Serbia Miodrag Linta called on European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz to lend his support to an initiative by the Coalition to have a resolution on the Croatian military Operation Storm adopted by the EP.
By adopting the draft resolution, he said, the EP would condemn in the strongest terms the war crimes committed by the Croatian armed forces in an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Serb population in August 1995.
The EP would also urge Croatia to prosecute those responsible for the war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law and to make sure refugees can safely exercise the right to restitution of their pre-conflict property and other rights, or to provide them with adequate financial compensation.
The resolution would demand of Croatia to stop celebrating August 5, day commemorating Operation Storm, as national holiday, to ensure justice for all victims, to step up the work of exhuming and identifying victims and to introduce in school syllabuses lessons about the crimes and persecution so that these can live on for generations to come.
“We strongly believe that you share our opinion that the adoption of the resolution on Operation Storm would be a major step forward in the promotion of peace, justice, truth and reconciliation between the Serbian and Croatian peoples,” Linta said in his letter to Schulz.
He pointed out that Operation Storm had resulted in the killing of more than 2,000 Serbs, including as many as 1,200 civilians, and in 220,000 Serbs being forced to leave their homes, the biggest ethnic cleansing campaign in Europe since World War II.
Some 900 Operation Storm victims are still being searched for, added Linta.