Another anniversary of the exile of at least 200,000 Serbs from the then Republic of Serb Krajina in Croatia’s Operation Storm will be marked on Aug. 4 in Belgrade with a memorial service and the laying of wreaths and flowers on the monument to those who had perished in it, while the central event will be held in the Zemun Busije settlement, where many of the exiles from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina now live.
According to announcements, the gathering dedicated to remembering all who had died and had to flee their homes in Operation Storm will be attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and other senior officials. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Croatian military-police operation dubbed Storm began on Aug. 4, 1995 with a massive attack of Croatian forces on the territory of the then existing Republic of Serb Krajina. Between 200,000 and 250,000 Serbs were exiled in the operation, while some 2,000 were killed or went missing. Among the victims were 553 women, 80 percent of whom were older than 60.
The Serbian public views the operation as the biggest ethnic cleansing in Europe after the Second World War.
The Commissariat for Refugees and Migration has described Operation Storm as “one of the saddest days for the Serbian people” and a day of mourning those killed and the 770 victims whose graves have never been found.
The Veritas Documentary and Information Center recalled on the occasion that the courts in Croatia have so far convicted only one person, and an ethnic Albanian at that, for the crimes committed in Operation Storm. In Bosnia and Herzegovina also, only one member of the Bosnian Army’s 5th Corps was convicted of a war crime in which four members of the Krajina’s Serb Army were killed.
It is widely held in Serbia that the anniversary of Operation Storm in Croatia is “increasingly being turned into glorification of the Ustasha movement and the outpouring of hatred against Serbs.”