Serbs from Krajina Offer Their Properties in Croatia to Syrian Refugees

Serbs from Krajina offer their properties in Croatia to Syrian refugees

BELGRADE – A group of refugees from Croatia suggested an original and ironic solution to the problem of migrants from Syria. They offerred their properties in Croatia from which they were expelled in 1995 and cannot come back to this day, writes “Kurir”, citing “Vesti Online”.

Serbian refugees fleeing Croatia in two corridors (1995)
Photo: Ranko Cukovic Reuters

Milovan Budimlija, a refugee from the town of Plaska, offers migrants a house of four floors on a plot of 2,000 square meters. He recently presented his idea with a letter to the President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic.

“I sent a letter to which I have not received a reply. I asked the president to publicly support the idea to give our properties in Croatia to Syrian refugees for permanent or temporary use, for free or with a fee. We do not only want to help these people, but also to draw the attention of the world media that Serbs who had been expelled from Croatia haven’t been able to go back to their properties for 20 years,” said Budimlija.

Milovan Budimlija says that in the following days they will try to inform as many as their compatriots abroad as possible.

“At least 10,000 people from Krajina are scattered from America to Australia. We want to make them aware of this idea. As there are lists of Serbs missing and killed in Krajina, we want to make a list with names of people, places and properites offerred to the refugees from the Middle East,” said Budimlija.

Vladimir Dmitrovic, a refugee from Glina, says that vast columns of refugees in Serbia remind him of the “Operation Storm” and the column of people he was in.

“It moved me to publicly offer my property to these people – two houses and two hectares of arable land, free of charge for at least five years. That is the time I have left until retirement, when I plan to go back to my hometown where I haven’t been since 1995,” said Dmitrovic.

Director of Veritas Savo Strbac says that several people from Krajina contacted him with the same idea.

“In August 1995 the police did not allow us to enter Belgrade, but they made us go to Kosovo. Nobody can understand the suffering of the people from Syria better than us, which is why I wish them much more luck than we had. There is an ironic message in this idea to the Croatian authorities, if Serbs are not good for them so they have been preventing us from coming back for 20 years, to try with Syrians,” says Strbac.

He added that he himself can offer the apartment he had in Benkovac, and a part of the estate.

“I believe that my mother and brother will not mind to donate a part of the estate to Syrian refugees,” he said.

However, Milorad Linta, president of the Coalition of the Association of refugees from Krajina, believes this is not a good way to raise the issue of return of refugees from Krajina.

“Everyone has the right to do with their properties what they want, but I am not sure that this is the road which will get us our rights,” said Linta.