Vukovar, water tower.jpg
Vukovar water tower is one of the most famous symbols of Vukovar and the suffering of the city and the country in the Battle of Vukovar and the Croatian War of Independence.
Photograph: Photo by Ian Bancroft, used under CC BY

The first monument to missing persons in Croatia was unveiled in the eastern town of Vukovar on Tuesday on the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared.

"Since Vukovar made the biggest sacrifice in the Homeland War, it was to be expected that the first such monument should be in this town," said Manda Patko, president of the Vukovar Mothers Association. She added that the families of the war missing would never stop looking for their dearest ones.

Mayor Ivan Penava said the issue of the missing was the biggest burden of the 1991-95 Homeland War, calling on everyone attending the unveiling ceremony to do more so that light could be shed on the fate of the 1,990 missing person Croatia is still tracing.

In attendance were the families of imprisoned and missing defenders, presidential advisor Ante Deur and the prime minister's envoy, War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved. Before the unveiling, they laid wreaths and lit candles at the Homeland War Victims Memorial Cemetery and attended a memorial service.

The president of the Alliance of Families of Imprisoned and Missing Croatian Defenders, Ljiljana Alvir, told reporters that nothing had been done in recent years to find the war missing. "There is no new information from Serbia, which holds the key to information about all missing persons, including those they themselves are tracing. Serbia evidently isn't ready yet to embark on that process."

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