Residents of Mostar marked Memorial Day on Vukovar Victims


Residents of Mostar marked Memorial Day on Vukovar victims on Monday, Federal News Agency reported.

The commemoration began with masses in Mostar, after which residents walked toward Vukovarska Street, where candles were lit and prayers were given to Vukovar veterans in front of the cross.

Organized by Tropletova Mladez, 28 torches were also lit on Hum hill above Mostar in memory of 28 years since the victim of Vukovar.

The Vukovar massacre, also known as the Vukovar hospital massacre or the Ovčara massacre, was the killing of Croatian prisoners of war and civilians by Serb paramilitaries, to whom they had been turned over by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), at the Ovčara farm southeast of Vukovar on 20 November 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. The massacre occurred shortly after Vukovar’s capture by the JNA, Territorial Defence (TO), and paramilitaries from neighbouring Serbia. It was the largest massacre of the war and the worst war crime in Europe since World War II up until that point.

The mass grave was discovered in October 1992 and guarded by the United Nations Protection Force which had deployed to the area earlier that year. In 1996, 200 sets of remains were exhumed from the grave by International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) investigators. Croatia believes 61 others were buried in a different grave on the site, while ICTY prosecutors believe that figure stands at 60.

The ICTY convicted two JNA officers in connection with the massacre, and also tried former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević for a number of war crimes, including those committed at Vukovar. Milošević died in prison before his trial could be completed. Several former members of the Croatian Serb TO and Serbian paramilitary units have been tried by the Serbian judiciary and convicted for their involvement in the massacre. In February 2015, the International Court of Justice ruled that the siege, massacre and simultaneous atrocities committed elsewhere in Croatia did not constitute genocide.

(Photo: Fena, Mario Obrdalj)

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