Skabrnja commemorates victims killed by Serb rebels in 1991
Izvor: Cropix / Autor: Andrija Lucić
On 18 November 1991, members of the then Yugoslav People Army (JNA) and Serb rebels, supported by planes, tank units and infantry of the JNA Knin Corps, commanded by Ratko Mladic, broke the resistance of the poorly armed Croatian forces in Skabrnja. Forty-three (43) Croatian civilians and soldiers were killed in the village and during its subsequent occupation, which lasted until the 1995 Croatian army and police operation "Storm", the number of Skabrnja victims rose to 86. Another six villagers were killed by leftover mines after the war. Two thousand people were forced to leave their homes in that period.
Addressing today's ceremony, the commander of the Skabrnja defence forces in 1991, Marko Miljanic asked the government to explain to local residents why nobody had been convicted yet of Skabrnja atrocities.
Miljanic said nobody could offer forgiveness on his behalf and on behalf of the Skabrinja victims and that in order to be forgiven, Serb criminals must repent, come to Skabrnja and kneel before the victims of Skabrnja just as German Chancellor Willy Brandt did in Warsaw in 1970.
Commenting on calls for an end to impunity for Skabrnja atrocities, President Josipovic said there was no peace without justice and that it was not enough to convict perpetrators at trials in absentia.
"The Croatian Homeland Defence War was a just and defensive war and we must thank everybody who defended Croatia. You, Skabrnja residents, won twice in the war -- the first time when you defeated the enemy and the second time when you aspired for peace. It is the duty of all of us in Croatia not to let crimes fall into oblivion. The victory won here is a pillar for building pacifism," Josipovic said.
Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor recalled that from Vukovar to Skabrnja there were 143 mass graves and that Croatia was still searching for 1,024 soldiers and civilians who went missing in the war.
After the commemoration, the officials visited Eva Segaric, who lost her three sons and husband in the attacks on Skabrnja and held talks with other residents.
- ivo josipović
- Jadranka Kosor
- Ratko Mladić
- Homeland War
- Yugoslav People's Army
- marko miljanić