Croatia’s Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Tomo Medved, said the authorities remain committed to finding all the remaining missing persons from the 1991-95 war, as five more war victims were formally identified on Friday at the Dr Juraj Njavro National Memorial Hospital in the eastern town of Vukovar.
The remains identified by DNA analysis were those of two civilians from Vukovar and three Croatian soldiers from Berak. All of them were forcibly seized in September and October 1991. They were all male and aged between 25 and 60 when they died.
They were among the remains of at least 11 people exhumed from a mass grave near Sinjarevci in the Vukovar area. Four others were identified in April.
Vukovar was besieged for three months during the war by the Yugoslav People’s Army and Serbian paramilitaries, who executed several hundred Croatian soldiers and civilians after the town fell in November 1991. Around 3,000 people died in the battle for Vukovar overall.
Medved said that the identification was “an indicator of our full dedication to finding all the people who are missing from the Homeland War”, using the Croatian term for the 1991-95 conflict.
Addressing the relatives of the victims, he added: “Dear families, although our achievements are far from what we all want, which is to find out the truth about the fate of all our missing persons, I believe you recognise the efforts we are putting into this extremely sensitive and complex process.”
According to the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs, searches have been conducted at 364 locations in the past seven years, and three mass graves and several individual graves have been found, from which the remains of 173 people have been exhumed.
During that period, 253 people, soldiers and civilians, have been identified.
After today’s identification, the Croatia is still searching for 1,807 people who remain missing from the 1990s war.
Source: Balkan Insight