US embassy cable - 92ZAGREB954

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

Identifier: 92ZAGREB954
Wikileaks: View 92ZAGREB954 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Zagreb
Created: 1992-06-11 10:05:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
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
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

111005Z Jun 92

                       CONFIDENTIAL


                       CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02        ZAGREB  00954  01 OF 08  111236Z
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
USMISSION USNATO
USIA WASHDC 1621
USEC BRUSSELS
 COMSIXTHFLT//N2//
CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON//N24//
USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GM//ECJ3/ECJ5//
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 0514
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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, 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NNNN 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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. 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NNNN 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NNNN 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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. 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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. 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NNNN 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NNNN 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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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