Croat cleansing? further report

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sat Aug 19 07:53:24 MDT 1995


In fairness to Louis, but more important the people
in the former Yugoslavia, I think I must post this follow
up report by the Croatian peace monitors, which I have only
just read on yugo.antiwar.

 It is more
ominous, although I would still claim that it does not
support a theory of deliberate ethnic cleansing as a matter
of policy for the Republic of Croatia, although it was
a necessary policy for Greater Serb Nationalism. The fact that
the victorious Croatian army would not mind if the Serbs left
may at times seem close to this but I think is importantly
different.

Chris B, London



/* Written  1:08 am  Aug 18, 1995 by OTVORENE-OCI_ST at ZAMIR-ZG.comlink.apc.org in
gn:yugo.antiwar */
/* ---------- "Initial visit to former sector Sout" ---------- */
Initial visit to former sector South

Split, 17-08-95

Getting access to former sectors South and North is still
problematic for domestic and international Human Rights
organisations. Though promises have been given by the Croatian
government, very few organisations have gained access to the
area. In accompaniment of domestic activists Otvorene Oci
Zagreb managed to enter sector North twice (see reports dd 13-
08-95 and 17-08-95). Today Otvorene Oci Split made an attempt
to go to Drnis and the surrounding villages. Here is a short
report of their impressions.

Without being stopped the team passed the checkpoint between
the villages of Ruzic and Kricke, the first village inside
former sector South. Kricke consists of three parts, two of
which used to be mainly inhabited by Serbs and the other by
Croats.

The first thing Otvorene Oci noticed was the great amount of
burnt out houses,approximately at least half. The village
seemed deserted, but some Krajina Serbs remained. Otvorene Oci
spoke to a middle-aged man and his old mother. The man had
only stayed behind to take care of his mother, while his wife
and two daughters fled, in accordance with the Croatian Serb
army's orders. They have no electricity, no running water, no
money nor valid documents. A peculiar fact is that whereas the
Serbian parts of the village do not have electricity, the
Croatian part does. The Croatian police told them there was no
reason to be afraid and that they could get documents soon.
The Croatian Red Cross visited them once and gave them a small
amount of flour, a litre of oil, biscuits and some tinned
vegetables. They are lucky to have a vegetable garden and a
vineyard.

Only approximately 25 people are left of the estimated 260
Serbs that populated the village until ten days ago. Five days
ago the burning of Serbs' houses started, said the man. He
stated that many houses had been burnt in villages around
Drnis. He named Zitnic, Biocic, Miocic, Kanjane, Baljci,
Varos, Tepljuh and Velusic. Although only houses have been
burnt of people that have left he is nevertheless afraid,
especcially at night. His main concern is when and if he is
able to leave the country and be reunited with his wife and
children.

The team got through the checkpoint between Kricke and Drnis
but was then sent back by military police soon after the
checkpoint. The team voiced their intention to visit Drnis,
but the military police stated that it was too dangerous and
that they needed written permission from the appropriate
authorities in sibenik in order to enter the town. The
soldiers told the team to take the road to Pakovo Selo (the
UNCRO checkpoint) and not to take the other option, the road
through Kricke. Unable to get access into Drnis, Otvorene Oci
was not in a position to ascertain more details of other
surrounding villages and their populations. An attempt to
accompany domestic activists on a visit to Knin to assess the
situation there will be made on Friday.





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