Letter: In the aftermath of Croatia's re-conquest of Krajina

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your correspondent Emma Daly writes that the Serb minority "had legitimate grounds to fear Croatian domination" ("Krajina pays price for neighbour's war", 5 August). She supports this observation by stating that Zagreb has a "dislike" of Serbs, but she fails to take into account that those Serbian parties who have accepted Croatian democratic structures are fully represented within the Croatian parliament.

The constitution that was created for the newly independent state provides written guaranteed rights for all minorities. The Croatian flag dates back to 1300, so it is ridiculous to identify it with a puppet state run by a small number of quislings and large numbers of occupying forces during the Second World War.

The Serbs have never had any "moral high ground" in their primitive search for Greater Serbia, which has spanned most of this century. Their leaders have been branded as war criminals.

The blockade of the so-called Krajina region since August 1990 has cost Croatia dear. The railways and road networks across the country have been unable to function and the Dalmatian tourist industry has been severely undermined. The region is said to have been used for breaking the sanctions against Serbia, and it has certainly been used for launching attacks against Croatian civilian targets.

Croatia worked patiently for five years to achieve peaceful reintegration of the region, but this was not forthcoming due to Serb intransigence. One of the aims of the Croatian action was to safeguard the Bihac region, in co-operation with Bosnian government forces. The 200,000 people trapped there would otherwise have been at the mercy of the Serb troops that had been attacking the area over the last few weeks.

Ms Daly speculates that land-swap deals have been struck with Serbia. This is unrealistic, in view of Serbia's failure to honour any agreement signed to date in the course of this war. Force is the last resort, when all else fails, as has been demonstrated in the so-called Krajina.

Yours faithfully,

Vivian Grisogono

London, W4