Nationalist outbursts during the anti-war rally in Croatia

  • By: Emir Tutic
  • Date: August 4, 2022
  • Time to read: 2 min.

This week, several civil rights associations held an anti-war rally on Ban Jelačić square in Zagreb, in memory of the victims and exiles during the military operation “Storm”, emphasizing that the committed crimes are the responsibility of the state and that they should be prosecuted before the court. Several incidents were recorded during the rally which was supervised by the police. Some of the citizens who did not support the rally expressed their displeasure differently. They insulted the activists, painted their banners, cursed them and some of them even called the gathered activists a “Chetnik gang” for seeking justice for the victims of this war crime, according to Al Jazeera Balkans reports.

Civil rights organizations believe that confronting the crimes that were committed during the” Storm” operation should lead to the path of reconciliation and understanding, and until they face the past and the crimes committed in the “Storm”, they do not have a right to point fingers at others.

Banners such as: “Nationalism kills”, and “Crimes in the Storm are the responsibility of all of us”, were displayed on Ban Jelačić Square by the civil organizations that organized this rally in solidarity with all the victims of war and crimes during the 27th anniversary of the operation “Storm”.

Activists believe that Croatian politicians have shown irresponsible behavior and that this is incomprehensible.

“The current political leadership in Croatia does not show sincerity, humility and respect for the victims of crime, for the people who were killed,” said Nela Pamuković from the Center for Women Victims of War, according to Hina reports.

Operation Storm was a military-police action by the Republic of Croatia in August 1995. The goal of this operation was to occupy the largest part of the territory of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, an unrecognized state formed on the territory of the newly independent Croatia, which was active during the war, pursuing a policy based on the desire of Serbs in Croatia to remain in Yugoslavia. The operation officially lasted 4 days and ended with the fall of the Republic of Srpska Krajina and the establishment of control of the Republic of Croatia over that territory.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia characterized operation “Storm” in the first-instance verdict against Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač as a joint criminal enterprise, with the aim of permanently and forcibly expelling the majority of Serbs from the territory of the former Republika Srpska Krajina in Croatia.

Today, most of the Croatian public believes that “Storm” was a liberation military operation, while a smaller part of the community believes that it was also a crime against the Serbs who lived in Croatia.

Emir Tutić

Emir Tutic

Eastern Europe Reporter

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