Homeland War

Ex-Yugoslav Navy captain placed in investigative prison for 1991 shelling of Sibenik

Former Yugoslav Navy captain Cedomir Borojevic has been placed in investigative prison in Split on suspicion that he ordered an artillery attack on Sibenik in September 1991.

Ex-JNA reservist sentenced to 20 years for killing eight Croatian policemen and civilians in 1991

The County Court in the northern coastal city of Rijeka on Monday sentenced former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) reservist Milorad Bozic in absentia to 20 years in prison for killing three civilians and five imprisoned Croatian police officers in Donji Hrastovac near Hrvatska Kostajnica in September 1991.

Croatia protests against monument to be raised in Belgrade

Croatia strongly protested on Tuesday against a decision by the Serbian government to erect a monument to an officer of the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), Milan Tepic, who is considered to be a hero in Serbia while in Croatia he is considered to be a killer of Croatian defenders at the start of the war for independence in 1991.

Grabar-Kitarovic: I will not allow twisting of the truth about Homeland War

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was in Pakrac on Wednesday to attend a ceremony marking 26 years since the start of the Homeland War in that town, saying she would not allow the twisting of the truth about the 1991-1995 war of independence.

Supreme Court increases prison term for Mercep to 7 years

The Croatian Supreme Court has increased the prison term for wartime assistant interior minister Tomislav Mercep from five and a half years to seven years for failing in his capacity as a police unit commander to prevent members of his unit from killing Serb civilians at the start the war in the early 1990s.

Wife of German journalist killed in war presents new evidence against Captain Dragan

Christiane Schlotzer Scotland, the wife of German journalist Egon Scotland killed during the war in July 1991 in Jukinac near Glina, testified at the war crimes trial of Serb paramilitary commander Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan, before the Split County Court on Tuesday.

Bosnian court upholds indictment against ten Bosnian Croat soldiers

The Court of Bosnia in Herzegovina on Tuesday upheld an indictment against retired Croat general Djuro Matuzovic and nine other officers and soldiers of the Croat Defence Council (HVO) forces charged with war crimes in the northern Posavina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Veterans, Tudjman, Racan deserve credit for Croatia's int'l recognition, SDP official says

The City of Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County on Monday organised a commemoration in the northern Adriatic port on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Croatia's international recognition, with county prefect Zlatko Komadina saying war veterans, first President Franjo Tudjman, and former Social Democratic Party leader Ivica Racan, who "said no to Slobodan Milosevic", deserved credit for the country's defence and recognition.

Serb rebel accused of expelling Croats from Knin

The Split County Prosecutor's Office has indicted a 59-year-old Serbian citizen for ordering the terrorising and expulsion of Croats from the area of Knin in 1992.

Croatia marks 25th anniversary of international recognition

Croatia celebrates the 25th anniversary of international recognition on Sunday, remembering January 15, 1992 when the member-states of the then European Community (EC) jointly recognised it as an independent state and when Germany, which played a key role in that process together with the Holy See, established diplomatic relations with Croatia.

Plenkovic: 15 January important for Croatia's international promotion

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Thursday recalled that Croatia would on 15 January observe the 25th anniversary of its international recognition, and said that 15 January 1992 was an important day for Croatia's international affirmation.

European Community recognised Croatia too late, FM says

Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier said on Wednesday the international recognition of Croatia 25 years ago was a very important event but that the recognition by the then European Community came "much too late", resulting in many lives lost, and that the recognition by the international community was primarily a result of the Croatian people's will.

Croatia remembers five EC monitors killed 25 years ago

A ceremony was held in Podrute near the northwestern Croatian town of Novi Marof on Monday to commemorate five European Community peace monitors, four Italians and a Frenchman, whose unarmed helicopter was shot down there by a Yugoslav Air Force MiG-21 on 7 January 1992.

Ex-Yugoslav Navy captain given six years for shelling Split

The wartime deputy commander of the Lora naval base at Split, Yugoslav Navy Captain Pavle Pantic, was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday for the shelling of Split in the early 1990s, in which four civilians were killed and 11 wounded.

Gov't to allocate EUR 266,000 for future Skabrnja Memorial Centre

The government has recently decided to earmark two million kuna for the construction of a memorial centre in Skabrnja, in tribute to the local victims of one of the worst atrocities during the Homeland Defence War.

14,912 persons killed in Homeland War, according to incomplete data

The head of the Croatian Homeland War Memorial and Documentation Centre said on Tuesday there was no objective picture in the media of what had happened during the 1991-95 war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding that the Centre had the names of 14,912 persons killed in the war and that 1,993 remained unaccounted for.

Exhibition on war-ravaged Vukovar in Novi Sad damaged

Six shop window in the centre of Novi Sad with artistic photos showing the 1991 destruction of the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar were smashed, the Serbian news agency Beta reported on Tuesday.

Dubrovnik marks 25th anniversary of its defence

The Day of Dubrovnik's Defenders and the 25th anniversary of the successful defence of that southern Croatian town during the 1990s Homeland War were marked with several commemorative events, including wreath-laying ceremonies with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved in attendance.

NGOs recall 6 Dec 1991 army attack on Dubrovnik

The Documenta Centre for Dealing with the Past from Zagreb and the Human Rights Action and the Centre for Civic Education from Podgorica recalled in a joint statement on Monday that on 6 December 1991 the unjustified attack of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and Montenegrin reservists on Dubrovnik escalated, and that only two persons were convicted of the war crimes then committed.

Croatian PM welcomes Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina's decision

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Thursday welcomed a decision by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to release from custody a group of former members of the Bosnian Croat HVO forces arrested in late October on suspicion of war crimes against Serb detainees in the country's northern Posavina region.

Croatian PM says his gov't against orchestrated war crimes indictments

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said during Question Time in parliament on Wednesday that the Croatian government's position was that every crime should be investigated and prosecuted but that Croatia was against orchestrated actions and a selective approach to some indictees and criminal acts.

US extradites to Bosnia ex-HVO member suspected of war crimes

American authorities on Tuesday extradited to Bosnia and Herzegovina a former member of the Croat Defence Council (HVO), Azra Basic, suspected of war crimes, the Bosnian Prosecutor's Office has confirmed.

Ovcara Farm victims commemorated

Commemorative events, including placing of flowers and lighting of candles, were held at Ovcara outside Vukovar on Sunday in memory of the murder of 264 wounded Croatian soldiers and civilians who were executed by Serb rebels and paramilitaries on 20 November 1991, a day after they had been taken from the local hospital, when that eastern Croatian town fell into the hands of Serb insurgents and the then Yugoslav People's Army.

Wreath-laying ceremony held on mass grave site at Lovas farm

The commemoration of Croatian soldiers and civilians killed in Vukovar's neighbourhood of Borovo Naselje in 1991 ended on Saturday afternoon with the laying of wreaths and lighting of candles on the site of a mass grave at the Lovas farm from which 24 bodies had been exhumed in 2001.

Commemoration for Borovo Naselje victims held

A commemoration under the slogan "Sacrifice of Borovo Naselje for the Homeland," was held on Saturday in front of what once used to be the Borovo Commerce warehouse on the outskirts of the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar.

Vukovar Remembrance Day ceremonies held

The eastern Croatian town of Vukovar as well as the whole of Croatia on Friday observed Vukovar Remembrance Day in memory of 18 November 1991 when Vukovar fell into the hands of more numerous forces of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and Serb paramilitaries, after which around 22,000 Croats and members of other non-Serbs were expelled and several thousand Croatian soldiers and civilians interned in Serb-run prison camps.

Skabrnja massacre commemorated

Several thousand people from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered in Skabrnja on Friday to commemorate 58 Croatian civilians and 26 soldiers massacred by Serb forces during the war 25 years ago.

Zagreb archbisop says destruction of Croatia worst since WWII

The Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanic, celebrated Mass for killed and missing defenders and civilians at the Homeland War Victims Memorial Cemetery in Vukovar on Friday.

Wreaths laid at Homeland War Memorial Cemetery in Vukovar

State and other delegations laid wreaths and lit candles at the Homeland War Memorial Cemetery in Vukovar on Friday commemorating Croatian soldiers and civilians killed while defending the town from besieging Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and Serb paramilitary forces 25 years ago.

Vukovar Remembrance Day ceremonies begin

Memorial ceremonies began in the yard of the General Hospital in Vukovar on Friday morning to mark Vukovar Remembrance Day, the 25th anniversary of the destruction of the town in the military aggression by Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and Serb paramilitary forces at the start of the 1991-1995 Homeland War.

Candles lit at start of Vukovar Remembrance Day commemorations

Commemorations on the occasion of Vukovar Remembrance Day, observed on 18 November, started on Thursday evening with the lighting of candles and lanterns in the yard of the Vukovar General Hospital.

181 persons convicted for war crimes in Vukovar

In the 25 years since war crimes were committed in the eastern town of Vukovar, Croatian prosecutors have launched criminal proceedings against 1,203 persons, 181 have been convicted and many proceedings are still under way, the Justice Ministry said on Thursday.

"Vukowar - 87 Days of Pain and Suffering" opened in Croatian Parliament

The exhibition features a collection of war photographs portraying difficult war-time days in Vukovar, eastern Croatia.

Three Serbs charged with war crimes against civilians and POWs in Croatia

The County Prosecutor's Office in the northern Croatian coastal city of Rijeka has indicted three citizens of Serbia, former members of a Serb Territorial Defence force in Licki Osik, for war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war committed between August and October 1991 in the Licki Osik area, about 120 kilometres southeast of Rijeka.

Minister honours soldiers killed in defence of Split

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the defence of Split and breaking the maritime blockade of the Adriatic, Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and the Croatian Army Chief-of-Staff, General Mirko Sundov, on Tuesday laid wreaths in the sea in front of the Lora naval base in honour of all veterans killed in the war.

New documentary on Ovcara brings new details of 1991 atrocity

A documentary entitled "Ovcara - An Untold Story", describing in detail the atrocity committed against Croatian detainees at a farm outside the eastern town of Vukovar in 1991, will premiere in Zagreb on November 13, representatives of the National Police Union said on Friday, noting that they had filed criminal reports against the perpetrators of the atrocity who had not been prosecuted yet.

Croatian FM: Info on Bosnia indictments to be released soon

Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Davor Ivo Stier, said on Friday that the government council for cooperation with international criminal courts would soon release information on alleged charges against Croatian and Bosnian Croat generals in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Vukovar mayor receives Albanian, Kosovo delegations

Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava on Thursday received representatives of the Association of Albanian Defenders in the Croatian Homeland War and delegations of the Republic of Albania and Republic of Kosovo for talks at which the friendship and cooperation between the two peoples was stressed.

56 civilians killed in 1990s war commemorated

The innocent victims in Bacin must never be forgotten and the truth about their murder and the Homeland War must be passed onto younger generations, a 25th anniversary commemoration for the victims of one of the most horrible crimes against civilians during the 1991-95 war heard in Bacin on Friday.

Captain Dragan trial: Witness says lost hearing and kidney due to torture

The trial of Dragan Vasiljkovic, aka Captain Dragan, charged with war crimes against Croatian soldiers and civilians in the early 1990s, resumed before the Split County Court on Thursday with the testimonies of three reserve police officers from Glina who spoke about the atrocities they lived through as prisoners of war in Knin at the start of the Homeland Defence War.

Witness accuses ex-Serb paramilitary commander of torture

Retired Croatian war veteran and former police officer Velibor Bracic on Wednesday testified for several hours before the Split County Court in the trial of Croatian Serb paramilitary commander Dragan Vasiljkovic aka Captain Dragan, saying that aside from being exposed to hunger and thirst, captured Croatian soldiers were beaten by guards in Knin on a daily basis and that he was also beaten by the accused.

Second indictment issued against JNA general charged with mining Peruca dam

A second indictment has been issued against retired Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) general Borislav Djukic, who has been standing trial for the mining of the Peruca dam, and it charges him and seven other persons, including senior JNA officers, with the murder of 117 civilians, rape, property destruction and expulsion of residents of Sibenik-Knin County.

Bishops say treatment of past inappropriate

The Croatian Bishops' Conference said in a press release on Saturday that at its 53rd plenary earlier this week the bishops considered "the inappropriate treatment of the past which is then reflected in our present" and that this referred to the treatment of the victims of the Jasenovac WWII concentration camp, those of the communist dictatorship and those of the 1991-95 Homeland War.

Krmpotic gets 3yrs for arson during Medak Pocket operation

A former commander of the 9th Guard Brigade's reconnaissance platoon, Josip Krmpotic, was sentenced to three years in prison by the Zagreb County Court on Thursday for arson and destruction of homes in Serb villages during the 1993 Medak Pocket liberation operation.

Commemorations held for Serb civilians killed in war

Commemorations for 16 elderly Serb civilians killed in August and September 1995, in the aftermath of the Croatian military Operation Storm, were held in Varivode and Gosic on Wednesday.

Vasiljkovic's counsel to contest charges

The defence counsels for Dragan Vasiljkovic, aka Captain Dragain, who pleaded not guilty to war crimes charges on Tuesday, said that they did not intend to prove his innocence but would have him acquitted by contesting the charges and evidence presented by the prosecution.

Serb paramilitary chief denies charges in Croatia war crimes trial

Dragan Vasiljkovic, aka Captain Dragan, charged with war crimes against Croatian soldiers and civilians in the early 1990s, entered a plea of not guilty at a long-awaited trial that started at the Split County Court on Tuesday, amid tight security and intense media interest.

Trial of ex-Serb paramilitary leader to start in Croatia Tuesday

Former rebel Serb leader Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan, who is charged with war crimes against POWs and civilians in southern and central Croatia in the early 1990s, will appear in the dock at Split County Court on Tuesday.

Croatia wasn't aggressor in Bosnia, says retired general

Croatia only protected its national interests during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and its goal was neither military aggression nor annexation of its territory, retired general Pavao Miljavac said on Thursday.

25th anniversary of occupation of Berak marked

Wreaths were laid and candles lit in Berak near the eastern town of Vukovar on Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the occupation of that village by the former Yugoslav Army and Serb paramilitaries on September 2, 1991.

State officials promise to protect veterans from indictments from Serbia, Bosnia

Croatian state officials on Friday attended the opening of new offices of the Croatian Generals Association (HGZ) in Zagreb, saying that they would protect Croatian veterans from indictments from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina charging them with a joint criminal enterprise.

First monument to war missing unveiled in Vukovar

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.

Minister says Serbia still not contributing enough to search for war missing

War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved said on Tuesday that 20 years after the Homeland War Serbia was still not contributing enough to the finding of the bodies of the war missing and that Croatia was still looking for 1,990 missing persons.

Milanovic says will not respect Serbian war-mongers Nikolic and Vucic

Asked about relations between Croatia and Serbia and what his position would be like if he came to power, Milanovic said that he said that to "people who call themselves representatives of guard brigades, in the language which is the only language some of them understand."

HVIDRA distances itself from talks between "self-proclaimed" veterans', political parties

The association of disabled war veterans which goes by the acronym HVIDRA on Wednesday distanced itself from current and possible future actions by what it called "self-proclaimed representatives" of Homeland War veterans and victims who lately have been holding frequent meetings with representatives of some political camps.

Veterans say wanted to teach Milanovic, SDP democracy and dialogue

 The heads of several veterans' associations on Tuesday met with Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic for talks on Serbia's European Union accession negotiations on Chapter 23 and 24 and later told reporters that they "wanted to teach Milanovic and SDP democracy and dialogue."

Croatian FM tells Serbian PM to present list of warrants against Croats

Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac on Tuesday sent a message to Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic that if he decides to attend the Dubrovnik Forum later this week, he should by all means bring a list of warrants issued by Serbia against Croatian citizens for alleged war crimes.

HDZ chief reassures war veterans that their legal security will be protected

Croatia will protect the legal security of Homeland Defence War veterans and the latest developments show that the issue of arrests of Croatian veterans by Serbia must be solved, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) chief, Andrej Plenkovic said in Zadar on Saturday, calling on Serbia to resort to dialogue.

Milanovic: If Serbia doesn't repeal universal jurisdiction law, Croatia will adopt similar law

The federation of Homeland War associations invited leading political parties to state their position on the matter of the Serbian law and Milanovic and his coalition partners were the first to respond.

Former inmates of Serb-run prison camps hold comemmoration

The Croatian Association of Former Inmates of Serb-run Concentration Camps (HDLSKL) on Sunday marked a day of remembrance for inmates of enemy camps in the 1991-95 Homeland War, commemorating the day when in 1992 the last big exchange of prisoners of war took place at the eastern village of Nemetin.  

Serbian FM: Glavas's accusations 'culmination of political madness' in Croatia

Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Thursday, after Croatian MP Branimir Glavas called on the Croatian government to respond to messages from "the eastern neighbours", that Glavas's accusations against Serbian leaders were "the culmination of political madness in Croatia".  

PM issues message on Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Thursday congratulated war veterans and all citizens on Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Croatian War Veterans Day, which are observed on August 5.

Glavas responds to Serbian officials' accusations

Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB) MP Branimir Glavas held a conference in Osijek on Thursday on, as he said, Greater Serbia's protest notes to Croatia, interference in Croatia's home affairs and continued pressure on the Croatian judiciary.

Foreign Ministry rejects Serbia's attempt to meddle in Croatia's matters

The Croatian Foreign Ministry said on Friday it had forwarded a note to Serbia rejecting its attempt to meddle in Croatia's internal matters.

Commemorations of 25th anniversary of establishment of Armed Forces start

Twenty-five years ago, the first review of the National Guard Corps (ZNG) was held at the stadium of the football club Zagreb, when the first ZNG brigades, which during the war grew into the Armed Forces, were presented to the Croatian public.

After 555 days disabled veterans to end their tent protest outside ministry

After 555 days, the war veterans' protest outside the Veterans' Affairs Ministry is ending, one of the protest organisers and president of an association of fully-disabled veterans, Djuro Glogoski, told a news conference on Tuesday.

Duchess of Cornwall meets activists helping war rape victims

Duchess Camilla talked with Marijana Senjak of the state commission which awards Homeland War sexual victim status, Visnja Misin, a lawyer representing victims in court, and Ruzica Ramljak of the Suncica association, which helps victims.

Veterans object to merging veterans' and defence ministries

Representatives of several Homeland War veterans's associations on Wednesday objected to the idea of merging the Veterans' Affairs Ministry with the Defence Ministry and called on the government to a dialogue over this matter.

Opposition calls for veterans' affairs minister's resignation

Opposition benches in parliament on Wednesday called for the resignation of Veterans' Affairs Minister Mijo Crnoja following media reports that he allegedly falsely registered his address to be in Samobor, a town some 20 kilometres west of Zagreb, whereas he actually lives in Zagreb, and that on several occasions he was reported for physical violence.

Register of Croatian and Serb casualties of Homeland War nearing completion

The director of the Croatian Homeland War Memorial and Documentation Centre, Ante Nazor, said on Tuesday that work on a register of both Croatian and Serb casualties of the 1991-1995 war was nearing completion and that it would be made public soon.

New Veterans' Affairs Minister: Stop the separation of veterans' pensions

"I want to and will be the minister of all Croatian defenders, regardless of their religion or ethnic background," said Crnoja after taking over from Predrag Matic, whom he thanked for the work so far.

Croatia marks 24th anniversary of international recognition

On January 15, 1992, when Croatia became internationally recognised, the Homeland War was under way and nearly a third of the country was occupied by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and Serb insurgents. 

2,734 war veterans commit suicide from 1991 through 2014

From 1991 to 1996, 100 veterans on average committed suicide annually, as against about 150 now, which means that one commits suicide every third day.

1,573 people who went missing in war still unaccounted-for

Currently, 1,573 persons who went missing in the 1991-1995 war are still unaccounted-for, according to the ministry's statistics. 

Memorial service held for Serb civilians killed, gone missing in war

"All that has become invisible both in the country and in the Serb community. Some Serbs had returned to Pakrac, but after a few years they opted again to emigrate and to leave, I would say, for good."

Dubrovnik marks 24 yrs since heroic defence

Thousands of shells fell on the historical centre, nine palaces were burned to the ground and 461 buildings were severely damaged.

Protesting veterans considering ending their protest

"We are considering ending the protest but we still do not know when we will do it," said Glogoski, who also leads the Association of Homeland War Veterans with 100% Disability.

"Sacrifice of Borovo Naselje for the Homeland" commemoration held

The head of the Mothers of Vukovar association, Manda Patko,  gave a talk at the event, saying that Croatia was still searching for 290 persons who went missing in Vukovar in 1991.

30,000 walk in Vukovar's remembrance procession

"Vukovar deserves having its tragedy marked in such a dignified manner, that we remember all those who were killed, went missing or died, 

Archbishop says Croatia commemorating day when JNA destroyed Vukovar, Skabrnja

Celebrating Mass on the occasion of Vukovar Remembrance Day, Puljic said the occupying forces wanted to extinguish people's desire for freedom, 

Commemoration marking Vukovar Remembrance Day starts

After the commemoration outside the city hospital, its participants embarked on a 5.5 km walk to the Homeland War Memorial Cemetery 

Minister says Croatia looking for 1,591 people gone missing in 1991-95 war

The fourth register of people who went missing in Croatia during the 1991-95 Homeland War was presented in Zagreb on Friday, with Veterans Affairs Minister Predrag Matic