Croatia blocking identifications, families of war victims say

SOURCETanjug
Serbian refugees fleeing Croatia in two corridors (1995) Photo: Ranko Cukovic Reuters

BELGRADE – An association of families of missing and killed Serbs from Croatia on Thursday said it was dissatisfied with the pace of the identification of the dead war victims, expressing concern over the fact that Croatia is blocking the process and lacks the good will to solve the painful issue.

On the eve of the 21st anniversary of the Croatian military and police operation “Storm” – which saw between 200,000 and 340,000 ethnic Serbs driven out of the country and over 1,200 killed – Dragana Djukic, president of Association Teardrop, told a press conference the families of those missing could not accept any excuses and were tired of waiting.

“We are dissatisfied with the pace of the identifications. We thought it could not get worse, but now the process is blocked,” Djukic said, adding that no identifications had been carried out this year, as opposed to an average of 50-60 in the past years.

Association member Nada Bodiroga said she had suffered humiliation and abuse in an unsuccessful search for the remains of her parents.

“I want the truth, not revenge,” she said.

Around 1,700 Serbs from Croatia are still reported missing and 1,200-1,300 exhumations have been conducted in Croatia, with 881 bodies identified to date, said Veljko Odalovic, president of the Serbian government commission on missing persons.

There are 400 unidentified bodies and completing this process remains a permanent task, Odalovic said.

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