Int'l Day of the Disappeared

Uzelac calls for stepping up efforts in search for war missing

31.08.2011 u 17:04


Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Slobodan Uzelac issued a statement for the International Day of the Disappeared on Wednesday, saying that political groups and former warring factions in the territory of the former Yugoslavia should not limit their efforts to searching only for missing people belonging to their own ethnic group, ignoring other victims in the process.

"Such practice is damaging not only to members of other ethnic and religious communities, but also to the reputation of the state and society that fosters such practice," Uzelac said.

Citing relevant national and international figures, Uzelac said the number of people listed as missing from the 1991-1995 war in Croatia was about 2,000, while in other countries in the region over 10,000 people remained unaccounted for from the wars of the 1990s.

Uzelac said it was time to step up efforts in searching for "those who do not belong to our ethnic group and our religion so that we would no longer be hostages of the past and of bad one-dimensional policies from the past." He appealed to all citizens for more active assistance in shedding light on the disappearances or forcible deportations of people and in locating their places of burial "regardless of the victims' ethnic or religious affiliation".