SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE OF TWO DISTRICTS

Identifier: 
92ZAGREB954

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, War Crimes
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

1. CONFIDENTIAL -- ENTIRE TEXT.

SUMMARY
-------

2. A CONSULATE VISIT TO TWO DISTRICTS OF THE MIXED
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 01 OF 08 111236Z
CROAT/SERB GORSKI KOTAR REGION PROVIDED BOTH A
HOPEFUL AND NEGATIVE PICTURE OF FUTURE RELATIONS
BETWEEN SERBS AND CROATS IN CROATIA. DIFFERING
WARTIME EXPERIENCES IN VRBOVSKO AND OGULIN, ONLY 30
KM APART, HAVE COLORED SERB/CROAT RELATIONSHIPS IN
THE TWO DISTRICTS FOR YEARS TO COME. IN VRBOVSKO,
WHILE TENSIONS WERE HIGH, ACTUAL FIGHTING NEVER TOOK
PLACE, AND WITH THE OVERALL CONFLICT ENDING IN
CROATIA, INTERETHNIC RELATIONS SEEM TO BE TAKING A
TURN FOR THE BETTER. IN OGULIN, WHERE SERBS FLED AND
WHERE THE FRONT LINE IS ONLY 15 KM AWAY, SITTING DOWN
AT THE SAME TABLE TOGETHER IS STILL A MAJOR TASK FOR
THE AREA'S CROATS AND SERBS. THE VILLAGE OF JASENAK,
A PREDOMINANTLY SERB VILLAGE IN THE OGULIN DISTRICT,
IS THE SITE OF A CONTROVERSIAL DISPLACED PERSON
CENTER. BOTH THE EC AND THE UNHCR ARE ACTIVELY
ENGAGED THERE TO SEE THAT THE SENSITIVITIES OF ALL
SIDES ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. THE EC AND UNHCR WILL
NOT BE HERE FOREVER, HOWEVER, AND THE PROCESS OF
RECONCILIATION WILL BE DIFFICULT AT BEST. IN SOME
SITUATIONS, UNFORTUNATELY, RECONCILIATION SEEMS A
DISTANT DREAM IF NOT AN IMPOSSIBILITY. END SUMMARY.

3. IN RESPONSE TO ALLEGATIONS REGARDING THE
TREATMENT OF SERBS IN THE GORSKI KOTAR REGION OF
CROATIA, WE VISITED TWO DISTRICTS (VRBOVSKO AND
OGULIN) IN THE AREA ON JUNE 3. DISCUSSIONS WITH
SERBS AND CROATS REVEALED A REMARKABLE DIFFERENCE IN
INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONSHIPS IN THE NEIGHBORING
DISTRICTS. VRBOVSKO AND OGULIN ARE LOCATED IN THE
HEART OF THE MOUNTAINOUS GORSKI KOTAR REGION,
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00954 01 OF 08 111236Z
APPROXIMATELY 50 - 60 KM SOUTHWEST OF KARLOVAC. IN
VRBOVSKO, WE MET TOGETHER WITH DISTRICT OFFICIALS AS
WELL AS THE POLICE (ALL CROATS) AND WITH SERBS

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NNNN

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 02 OF 08 111236Z
ACTION AID-01

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 DODE-00 CISA-02 EB-01
EUR-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-00 INR-01 IO-19 LAB-04
L-03 ADS-00 NEA-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-01 P-01
RP-10 SCT-03 SDEL-01 SIL-01 SNP-01 SP-01 SR-01
SS-01 STR-20 TRSE-00 T-01 /089W
------------------3D7A33 111245Z /38
P 111005Z JUN 92
FM AMCONSUL ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1123
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KIEV
AMEMBASSY LISBON
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMCONSUL MUNICH
CONFIDENTIAL

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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 02 OF 08 111236Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1622
USEC BRUSSELS
COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0515

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, YO
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

REPRESENTING THE PREDOMINANTLY SERB VILLAGES OF
GOMIRJE AND SRPSKE MORAVICE. IN OGULIN, 14
REPRESENTATIVES OF SERBS AND CROATS IN THE DISTRICT,
INCLUDING TWO SERB MEMBERS OF THE CROATIAN ASSEMBLY,
OGULIN CITY FATHERS, SERBS FROM THE VILLAGE OF
JASENAK AND CROATS FROM THE VILLAGE OF SABORSKO.
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 02 OF 08 111236Z

VRBOVSKO: A MODUS VIVENDI
--------------------------

4. SITTING DOWN WITH SERB AND CROAT REPRESENTATIVES
IN VRBOVSKO PROVIDED SOME HOPE THAT ALL WAS NOT
LOST. AS WE DISCUSSED ISSUE AFTER THORNY ISSUE THAT
HAVE PLAGUED SERB/CROAT RELATIONS IN THE FORMER
YUGOSLAVIA, IT APPEARED TO US THAT THE TWO SERBS AND
THREE CROATS MEETING WITH US HAD BEEN OVER THIS
GROUND BEFORE. THE WARTIME EXPERIENCE IN THE
VRBOVSKO AREA WAS, WHILE NOT WITHOUT TENSION, LARGELY
DEVOID OF ANY CONFLICT. THERE WAS NEVER A JNA BASE
IN THE DISTRICT, OFTEN THE FOCUS OF INITIAL FIGHTING
IN OTHER PARTS OF CROATIA, SERB VILLAGERS NEVER SET
UP BARRICADES, AND THE FRONT LINE WAS FAR ENOUGH AWAY
TO KEEP THE DISTRICT FROM RECEIVING ANY SHELLING.
THIS COMBINATION OF FACTORS CONSPIRED TO ALLOW
REASONABLE SERBS AND CROATS TO PREVAIL IN VRBOVSKO.
-
5. TWO OTHER FACTORS WORKED TO HOLD THE AREA
TOGETHER. ONE WAS POLITICAL AFFILIATION. OF THE
FOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WE MET WITH (2 SERBS
AND 2 CROATS), TWO (ONE EACH) WERE MEMBERS OF THE
PARTY FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGES (SDP - FORMER
COMMUNISTS), ONE SERB JOINED THE SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC
PARTY (SDS) FOLLOWING THE APRIL 1990 ELECTIONS, AND
THE OTHER CROAT WAS NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY PARTY.
PRESIDENT TUDJMAN'S RULING CROATIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION
(HDZ) WAS NOT REPRESENTED IN THIS GROUP. IN
ADDITION, THOUGH IT IS NOT CLEAR HOW THIS WAS
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00954 02 OF 08 111236Z
ACCOMPLISHED, LOCAL POLITICAL MOVEMENTS HAD CEASED
PARTY ACTIVITIES DURING THE WAR IN ORDER TO KEEP THE
PEACE AROUND VRBOVSKO.

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 03 OF 08 111237Z
ACTION AID-01

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 DODE-00 CISA-02 EB-01
EUR-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-00 INR-01 IO-19 LAB-04
L-03 ADS-00 NEA-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-01 P-01
RP-10 SCT-03 SDEL-01 SIL-01 SNP-01 SP-01 SR-01
SS-01 STR-20 TRSE-00 T-01 /089W
------------------3D7A3D 111245Z /38
P 111005Z JUN 92
FM AMCONSUL ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1124
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KIEV
AMEMBASSY LISBON
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMCONSUL MUNICH
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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 03 OF 08 111237Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1623
USEC BRUSSELS
COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0516

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, YO
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

6. THE SECOND REASON IS THAT SERBS AND CROATS DID
NOT FLEE THE VRBOVSKO DISTRICT AS THEY DID IN
OTHERS. BOTH GROUPS STUCK IT OUT THROUGH THE
DIFFICULTIES AND NOW BOTH SIDES ASSERT THAT A CERTAIN
NORMALIZATION IS RETURNING TO THE SERB-CROAT
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 03 OF 08 111237Z
RELATIONSHIP THERE. IN THE DISTRICT AS A WHOLE, THE
POPULATION BREAKDOWN IS ABOUT 65 PERCENT CROAT, 35
PERCENT SERB. NATURALLY, SOME VILLAGES ARE 100
PERCENT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER AS IS THE CASE FOR
GOMIRJE AND SRPSKE MORAVICE (BOTH NEARLY 100 PERCENT
SERB).

VRBOVSKO: NOT WITHOUT ITS PROBLEMS
-----------------------------------

7. BOTH SIDES ADMITTED TO SERIOUS STRAINS IN THE
RELATIONSHIP THAT THEY BLAMED ON SMALL GROUPS OF
CROATIAN AND SERBIAN "EXTREMISTS". "EVERYONE IS
ARMED," SAID LEADERS OF BOTH COMMUNITIES, LEADING TO
THE PROMISE OF MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION IN CASE
OF ANY BREAKDOWN IN THE CURRENT PEACE. SOME OF THE
CAUSES OF INSTABILITY IN THE DISTRICT OVER THE LAST
10 MONTHS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
-
-- IN VRBOVSKO, PRIOR TO THE WAR, THERE WERE 18
POLICEMEN, HALF OF WHOM WERE SERBS. SINCE THE WAR,
THE TOTAL NUMBER HAS INCREASED TO 62, TEN PERCENT OF
WHOM ARE SERBS. WHILE SERBS HAVE NOT BEEN FIRED FROM
THE POLICE FORCE, THEY HAVE NOT BEEN HIRED EITHER,
CONTRARY TO A NATIONAL REGULATION WHICH REQUIRES
DISTRICTS TO HIRE BASED ON THE PROPORTION OF THE
POPULATION WHICH IDENTIFIES ITSELF WITH DIFFERENT
ETHNIC GROUPS.

-- SERB LEADERS IN VRBOVSKO CONFIRMED THAT SERBS
EMPLOYED BY THE CROATIAN RAILROAD FROM THAT AREA HAD
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00954 03 OF 08 111237Z
LOST JOBS RECENTLY SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR
NATIONALITY. THE CROATIAN OFFICIALS FROM VRBOVSKO
DID NOT ARGUE WITH THIS ASSESSMENT. LOCAL SERBS

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 04 OF 08 111238Z
ACTION AID-01

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 DODE-00 CISA-02 EB-01
EUR-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-00 INR-01 IO-19 LAB-04
L-03 ADS-00 NEA-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-01 P-01
RP-10 SCT-03 SDEL-01 SIL-01 SNP-01 SP-01 SR-01
SS-01 STR-20 TRSE-00 T-01 /089W
------------------3D7A49 111246Z /38
P 111005Z JUN 92
FM AMCONSUL ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1125
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KIEV
AMEMBASSY LISBON
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMCONSUL MUNICH
CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 04 OF 08 111238Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1624
USEC BRUSSELS
COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0517

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, YO
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

BLAMED RAILROAD AUTHORITIES IN RIJEKA AND ZAGREB FOR
THE FIRINGS. WHILE THE SERBS WE SPOKE WITH DID NOT
BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS OFFICIAL CROATIAN GOVERNMENT
POLICY, THEY FELT THAT ON SUCH ISSUES, STATED POLICY
AND ACTUAL PRACTICE WERE QUITE DIFFERENT.

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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 04 OF 08 111238Z
-- SERBS IN THE AREA WERE ARMED BEFORE THE WAR.
CROATS ONLY GOT WEAPONS AFTER THE UNCONTROLLED
DISBURSAL OF ARMS FROM THE FORMER JNA BASE IN OGULIN.

-- PRE-WAR AND INITIAL ADDITIONAL POLICE HIRES WERE
NOT WELL-QUALIFIED OR TRAINED FOR POLICE WORK.
CONSEQUENTLY, TRUST IN THE POLICE, PARTICULARLY AMONG
SERBS EBBED TO A VERY LOW LEVEL.

-- FOUR HUNDRED MEMBERS OF THE CROATIAN ARMY ARE
BASED IN VRBOVSKO. AT THE OUTSET OF THE WAR, THE
ARMY WAS NOT PARTICULARLY DISCIPLINED AND INCIDENTS
INVOLVING DRUNKEN, ARMED CROATIAN SOLDIERS PROVOKING
PEOPLE IN SERB VILLAGES WERE FREQUENT.

-- SERBS AND CROATS IN VRBOVSKO BLAMED THE MEDIA FOR
INCITING HATRED.
-
TURNING THINGS AROUND
---------------------

8. HAVING MADE IT THROUGH THE BULK OF THE WAR
WITHOUT CONFLICT, BOTH SIDES SAID THAT THEY WERE
COMMITTED TO IMPROVING THE SITUATION. SERB LEADERS
SAID THAT THERE HAVE BEEN NO PROVOCATIVE INCIDENTS
OVER THE LAST MONTH AND A HALF. THE ATMOSPHERE IS
MORE AND MORE POSITIVE. THE POLICE CHIEF SAID THAT
HIS ORGANIZATION WAS STRIVING TO INCREASE ITS
PROFESSIONALISM AND THAT THE POLICE HAD "SOLVED" MOST
CASES OF PROVOCATION. ALL FIVE LEADERS FROM VRBOVSKO
DISTRICT COMPLAINED ABOUT "EXTREMISTS" (SERBS AND
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00954 04 OF 08 111238Z
CROATS) WHO ESSENTIALLY STIRRED UP TROUBLE, WERE NOT
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS,
AND DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN CONSTRUCTIVE SOLUTIONS.

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 05 OF 08 111239Z
ACTION AID-01

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 DODE-00 CISA-02 EB-01
EUR-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-00 INR-01 IO-19 LAB-04
L-03 ADS-00 NEA-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-01 P-01
RP-10 SCT-03 SDEL-01 SIL-01 SNP-01 SP-01 SR-01
SS-01 STR-20 TRSE-00 T-01 /089W
------------------3D7A5E 111247Z /38
P 111005Z JUN 92
FM AMCONSUL ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1126
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KIEV
AMEMBASSY LISBON
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMCONSUL MUNICH
CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 05 OF 08 111239Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1625
USEC BRUSSELS
COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0518

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 05 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, YO
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

OGULIN: STILL IN A STATE OF WAR
--------------------------------

9. WHATEVER HOPE WE BROUGHT WITH US FROM VRBOVSKO
WAS DASHED UPON ENTRY INTO OGULIN (LIKE VRBOVSKO
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 05 OF 08 111239Z
DISTRICT ABOUT 65 PERCENT CROAT AND 35 PERCENT SERB),
A CITY UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO THE FRONT LINES THAT
HAS HAD AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT WAR EXPERIENCE. IN A
SPACE OF LESS THAN 30 KILOMETERS, WE HAD GONE FROM A
POTENTIAL MODEL OF POST-WAR SERB/CROAT RELATIONS TO
AN AREA THAT EXHIBITS ALL THE REASONS WHY SERBS AND
CROATS IN THESE REGIONS MAY NEVER AGAIN TURN THEIR
BACKS ON ONE ANOTHER. THE MEETING, A TIGHTLY WOUND
AFFAIR, INCLUDED DISPLACED PERSONS FROM A DESTROYED,
KRAJINA-CONTROLLED, ONCE PREDOMINANTLY CROAT TOWN,
OGULIN DISTRICT OFFICIALS, AND "LOYAL" SERB
CITIZENS. THE TENSION BETWEEN SERBS AND CROATS IN
THIS MEETING (14 PARTICIPANTS) IN THE OGULIN DISTRICT
HALL WAS PALPABLE.
-
10. A LOT OF THE TENSION COMES FROM OGULIN'S
WAR-TIME EXPERIENCE. A JNA BARRACKS WAS LOCATED IN
THE CENTER OF THE CITY OF OGULIN, NEXT DOOR TO THE
DISTRICT HALL. CONSIDERABLE FIGHTING TOOK PLACE IN
THE CITY BEFORE THE JNA ABANDONED THE SITE. IN
ADDITION, THE CITY IS LOCATED ONLY 15 KM FROM THE
FRONT LINE AND SOME OF THE OGULIN DISTRICT REMAINS
UNDER THE CONTROL OF KRAJINA FORCES (BUT OUTSIDE THE
UNPAS, AS LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE QUICK TO POINT OUT).
ADDITIONALLY, THOUGH THERE ARE NO CONCRETE FIGURES,
MANY SERBS LEFT OGULIN BEFORE AND DURING THE WAR,
LEAVING A BAD TASTE AMONG MANY CROATS WHO BELIEVE
THAT THEY ALL LEFT TO FIGHT FOR THE "CHETNIKS"
AGAINST THEIR OLD NEIGHBORS. SABORSKO (THE CROATIAN
TOWN REFERRED TO IN PARA 9) RESIDENTS, EMBITTERED BY
THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR VILLAGE, IN WHICH THEY CLAIM
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00954 05 OF 08 111239Z
55 OF THE 1,600 PRE-WAR POPULATION WERE KILLED,
ARGUED THAT JUSTICE MUST BE DONE TO THOSE SERBS
RESPONSIBLE. AND THEY SAY THEY PERSONALLY KNOW THE

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 06 OF 08 111240Z
ACTION AID-01

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 DODE-00 CISA-02 EB-01
EUR-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-00 INR-01 IO-19 LAB-04
L-03 ADS-00 NEA-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-01 P-01
RP-10 SCT-03 SDEL-01 SIL-01 SNP-01 SP-01 SR-01
SS-01 STR-20 TRSE-00 T-01 /089W
------------------3D7A76 111248Z /38
P 111005Z JUN 92
FM AMCONSUL ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1127
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KIEV
AMEMBASSY LISBON
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMCONSUL MUNICH
CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 06 OF 08 111240Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1626
USEC BRUSSELS
COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0519

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 06 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, YO
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE. STILL, ONE FORMER SABORSKO
RESIDENT SAID HE HAD NOTHING AGAINST THE SERBS AS A
PEOPLE, HE JUST WANTED THOSE RESPONSIBLE TO BE
PUNISHED

11. SUCH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE OFTEN DOES NOT MANIFEST
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 06 OF 08 111240Z
ITSELF IN PRACTICE. SOME EXAMPLES:

-- BEFORE THE WAR, IN OGULIN, ACCORDING TO THE
DISTRICT PRESIDENT (A MEMBER OF THE RULING CROATIAN
DEMOCRATIC UNION, CDU), 75 PERCENT OF THE POLICE
FORCE WAS MADE UP OF SERBS. NOW THAT FIGURE HAS BEEN
REVERSED IN FAVOR OF CROATS. WERE SERBS FIRED? NO,
SAY CROATS. SERBS IN THE POLICE LEFT OGULIN; THE
TOTAL NUMBER OF POLICE WAS INCREASED; ALL FIVE POLICE
INSPECTORS ARE SERBS WHO HAVE BEEN KEPT ON IN ORDER
TO "USE" THEIR KNOWLEDGE.
(COMMENT: WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED BY CLAIMS THAT NOONE
WAS FIRED IN OGULIN BASED ON NATIONALITY. THE
REPORTS FROM VRBOVSKO AND ELSEWHERE SAY OTHERWISE.
END COMMENT.)

-- ACCORDING TO A SERB MEMBER OF THE CROATIAN
ASSEMBLY, EMPTY HOUSES, KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED
BY SERBS HAVE BEEN THE TARGETS OF BOMB ATTACKS.
NOONE PRESENT DENIED THE CLAIM. HOWEVER, SYMBOLIC OF
THE DIPLOMATIC LANGUAGE THAT SERBS IN THE ROOM FELT
COMPELLED TO USE, THE SERB ASSEMBLYMAN SAID THAT
THESE WERE "CONSEQUENCES OF A PROCESS I UNDERSTAND."
HE WAS REFERRING, AS DID OTHER SERBS, TO THE
EGREGIOUS ACTS OF FELLOW SERBS AROUND OGULIN, THE
KRAJINA AND IN THE REST OF CROATIA.

-- THE SAME ASSEMBLY MEMBER NOTED THE KILLING OF 10
PEOPLE (PRESUMABLY SERBS) IN THE OGULIN PRISON.
(COMMENT: IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS ACT IS
CURRENTLY BEING PROSECUTED BY CROATIAN AUTHORITIES.
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00954 06 OF 08 111240Z
END COMMENT.)

JASENAK

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 07 OF 08 111240Z
ACTION AID-01

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 DODE-00 CISA-02 EB-01
EUR-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-00 INR-01 IO-19 LAB-04
L-03 ADS-00 NEA-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-01 P-01
RP-10 SCT-03 SDEL-01 SIL-01 SNP-01 SP-01 SR-01
SS-01 STR-20 TRSE-00 T-01 /089W
------------------3D7A80 111248Z /38
P 111005Z JUN 92
FM AMCONSUL ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1128
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KIEV
AMEMBASSY LISBON
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMCONSUL MUNICH
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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 07 OF 08 111240Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1627
USEC BRUSSELS
COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0520

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 07 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, YO
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

-------

12. JASENAK IS A PREDOMINANTLY SERB VILLAGE IN THE
OGULIN DISTRICT WHICH HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF SOME
CONTROVERSY WITH ALLEGATIONS BY SERBS REGARDING THE
TEMPORARY SETTLEMENT OF NON-SERB DISPLACED THERE.
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 07 OF 08 111240Z
ACCORDING TO THE OGULIN DISTRICT CHIEF, THERE ARE
CURRENTLY 200 DISPLACED PEOPLE HOUSED NEAR JASENAK (A
VILLAGE OF SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE) IN AN UNUSED
RESORT THAT HAS 1600 AVAILABLE BEDS. THE SERB MEMBER
OF THE CROATIAN ASSEMBLY TOLD US THAT THERE HAD BEEN
LENGTHY PREPARATIONS BEFORE THE DISPLACED PERSONS HAD
BEEN BROUGHT TO JASENAK. DISCUSSIONS HAD BEEN HELD
WITH THE DISPLACED AND THE VILLAGERS SEPARATELY IN
ORDER TO PREPARE THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE
DISPLACED. IN ADDITION, BOTH THE EC MONITORING
MISSION, WITH REPS HOUSED IN THE AREA, AND THE UNHCR
ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN MAKING THE JASENAK SITUATION
WORK. FRESH FROM A JUNE 5 VISIT TO JASENAK, UNHCR
CROATIA HEAD JEAN-CLAUDE CONCOLATO TOLD US JUNE 9
THAT THERE WERE ONLY 38 DISPLACED STAYING NEAR
JASENAK. ALL OF THEM WERE OF RUTHENIAN NATIONALITY.
FOR NOW, THE SITUATION IS UNDER NEW CONTROL AND NO
NEW, IMMEDIATE INFLOWS OF DISPLACED ARE PLANNED.

COMMENT
-------

13. THE EXPERIENCE OF VRBOVSKO SUGGESTS THAT IN
THESE AREAS OF CROATIA WHERE FIGHTING OR EXPULSIONS
DID NOT TAKE PLACE, THERE IS SOME HOPE OF
RECONCILIATION. UNFORTUNATELY, A FAVORABLE LOCAL
CLIMATE CAN BE SPOILED BY OUTSIDE ACTIONS (E.G.
DISMISSALS MADE BY ORGANIZATIONS BASED OUTSIDE THE
AREA OR MEDIA HYPE FROM ZAGREB THAT INACCURATELY
DESCRIBES A PARTICULAR SITUATION). ELSEWHERE, WHERE
LARGE NUMBERS OF SERBS OR CROATS FLED, AND FIGHTING
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00954 07 OF 08 111240Z
ENSUED, IT'S GOING TO TAKE MORE. ALL SERBS RETURNING
TO THEIR VILLAGES WILL BE VIEWED SUSPICIOUSLY
(WITNESS THE LENGTHY WAR CRIMES LISTS ALREADY BEING

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 08 OF 08 111303Z
ACTION AID-01

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 DODE-00 CISA-02 EB-01
EUR-01 HA-09 H-01 INRE-00 INR-01 IO-19 LAB-04
L-03 ADS-00 NEA-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-01 P-01
RP-10 SCT-03 SDEL-01 SIL-01 SNP-01 SP-01 SR-01
SS-01 STR-20 TRSE-00 T-01 /089W
------------------3D7C06 111312Z /38
P 111005Z JUN 92
FM AMCONSUL ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1129
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KIEV
AMEMBASSY LISBON
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMCONSUL MUNICH
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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 08 OF 08 111303Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1628
USEC BRUSSELS
COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0521

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 08 OF 08 ZAGREB 00954

SIPDIS

VIENNA ALSO FOR USDEL CSBM; ISLAMABAD FOR POL/JPOGUE
-
HELSINKI FOR USDEL CSCE
-
STATE PASS TO AID FOR EUR/RME AND FHA/OFDA/DRD
-
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PHUM, MOPS, HR, YO
SUBJECT: SERBS AND CROATS IN GORSKI KOTAR: A TALE
OF TWO DISTRICTS

PRINTED IN CROATIAN NEWSPAPERS). EVERYONE FEELS
VIOLATED OR BETRAYED, AND IN MANY CASES BY FORMER
FRIENDS, RELATIVES OR NEIGHBORS. FOR SERBS WHO
STAYED THROUGHOUT, IT WILL BE REQUIRED, RIGHTLY OR
WRONGLY, THAT THEY ESTABLISH THEIR LOYALTY AND ATONE
IN SOME WAY FOR THE TRANSGRESSIONS OF THEIR BRETHREN.
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 08 OF 08 111303Z
-
14. IT IS OUR VIEW THAT EVEN IN AREAS WHERE SOME
EFFORTS TOWARD RECONCILIATION ARE UNDER WAY, ANY REAL
SUCCESS DEPENDS ON THE OVERALL CLIMATE AS DEFINED BY
ZAGREB. PROGRESS IN INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS HAS BEEN
TENUOUS AT BEST IN A FEW AREAS, WHILE IN MOST AREAS
NO SUCH EFFORTS HAVE GOTTEN UNDER WAY, NOR WILL THEY
UNTIL THE WAR IS OVER AND THE UNPROFOR HAS DONE ITS
JOB. SUCCESS IN REINTEGRATING SERBS INTO CROATIA
WILL COME ONLY IN CONJUNCTION WITH A POSITIVE
ATTITUDE ON THE PART OF THE REPUBLIC LEADERSHIP. WE
BELIEVE LITTLE IMPROVEMENT IS POSSIBLE WITHOUT CLEAR
SIGNALS FROM ZAGREB. END COMMENT. EINIK

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