Medak Pocket 1993 -

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Period: Yugoslav Wars

Region: Lika

Medak Pocket 1993

The criminal operation Medak pocket or "Bloody September in Lika" was the third attack croatian military and police forces on the territory the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), when the RSK area under the protection of UNPROFOR.
This genocidal operations started on 9th September 1993. The sudden attack of the Croatian army in the Serbian villages in the "Medak Pocket" near small town Gospic, which were 18 months ago was under UN protection. Within 7 days, Serbian villages of Medak pocket: Pocitelj, Citluk and Divoselo, were looted and razed.
This crime was followed by a significant share of the UNPROFOR forces than to the then conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The largest share of the Canadian Forces in military conflicts since the Korean War (1950-1953).
The only person who is liable for the crimes in the Medak pocket Croatian general Mirko Norac, while General Rahim Ademi was acquitted. General Norac was sentenced to 7 years in prison for failing to prevent the crime, but he had privileged conditions in the prison, which was a mockery of justice and victims.




SFR Yugoslavia was a federal state comprising six republics (SR Slovenia, SR Croatia, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SR Montenegro, SR Serbia and SR Macedonia). Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) were, by definition, aimed at union and brotherhood of all nationalities living in Yugoslavia. Socio-economic system in Yugoslavia was socialism. The 1974 Yugoslav Constitution led to decentralization of Yugoslavia, which enabled the separatist forces in Slovenia and Croatia and later in Bosnia and Herzegovina start pounding Yugoslavia, followed by bloody wars and persecution. According to all constitutions of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav People's Army has been regarded as the only existing armed force on the territory of Yugoslavia and, therefore, the only internationally recognized military entity.

In late 1989, the Federal Parliament brought amendments to the Constitution, including replacement of a one-party for a multiparty system. Thus, in addition to the only existing party-The League of Communists of Yugoslavia, other parties could be established.

At the end of January 1990 at the well-known 14th Communist Congress in Belgrade, breakdown of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia occurred and verbal conflict between the Slovenian delegates and the delegates from the Socialist Republic of Serbia broke out regarding their visions of the future of the joint state of Yugoslavia. The Slovenian delegation left the meeting followed by the Croatian delegation, bringing into question the work of the Congress. Soon after, the delegation of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina and Socialist Republic of Macedonia left the Congress, too. Thus, after 45 years the rule of communist in the Yugoslavia has been interrupted.




Croatian army launched an offensive in about six o'clock in the morning on 9th September 1993. The attack involved about 2,500 soldiers of the Operational Zone "Gospic", including a Guard Ninth Brigade of the Croatian Army, 111th Brigade from Rijeka, Gospic Home Guard Brigade, Home Guard Brigade from Lovinca and special police units of the Croatian Ministry of Interior. Croatian military forces consisted primarily had captured weapons from the Yugoslav Federal Army (in 1991), including M-84 tanks and a number of artillery pieces.
Serbian Krajina Army was surprised by this attack. After two days of fighting Croatian forces had taken control of the villages of Divoselo, Citluk and part of Pocitelj. The new front line is set near the village of Medak. The total area of ​​occupied territory is about 22 square kilometers, which had a population of 1,300 inhabitants. In retaliation for the offensive, Serbian forces began to use long-range artillery bombing city Karlovac and FROG-7 rockets for bombing Zagreb.
Serbian forces launched a counteroffensive and regained part of the occupied territories which stopped any progress Croatian army. Both sides used heavy artillery during the 12th and 13th of September 1993 and the UN forces have notified 6,000 explosions in the area of ​​Gospic and Medak Pocket. Serbian forces 12th September 1993. fired rocket "ground-ground" at Pleso airport. Then, on 13 and 14 September 1993, Croatia has used planes MIG-21 artillery attacks on Serbian forces in Banija and Kordun, and one was shot down near Vrginmost. Pilot Miroslav Peris over the downing of planes on September 14, 1993 died.
15th September 1993, a ceasefire was signed General Army of Serbian Krajina, Mile Novakovic, on behalf of the Serbian side and Major-General Petar Stipetić on behalf of the Croatian side. Control agreement "Medak Pocket" implied withdrawal of Croatian troops in the initial position of 9th September 1993 and that the Serbian forces did not enter the territory of the Medak Pocket. The withdrawal was scheduled for September at 15, on 12:00 hours.
In order to monitor the withdrawal, UNPROFOR has sent 875 soldiers of the Second Battalion of the Regiment "Princess Patricia" Canadian light infantry to enter the Medak Pocket with mechanized unit of the French army. UN forces, under the command of James Calvin were between Serbian and Croatian forces. The Canadian army within UNPROFOR was one of the best armed and prepared, but until these events after any major incidents peacekeepers are more escaping from the scene of the conflict than they resisted. This has created uncertainty among the warring forces to UNPROFOR forces were unable to do anything in terms of peacekeeping. Under the agreement, which was signed Canadian forces were to enter the space between the current front to fix the Serbian forces and take over the territory of Croatian forces.

However, the moment they entered the no man's land and tried to go through the territory of which the Croatian forces had taken to them is fired on the Croatian side. Canadian soldiers on their GDP-has raised high the flag of the UN and repeatedly tried during 16 September 1993 to enter the Medak Pocket. Every time they got to the fire from the Croatian side was stronger. The fire was eventually the Croatian side was stronger and stronger so Canadians began returning fire, but the Croatian forces observed the use of guns of 20 mm.
The tense situation continued through the night and the early pre-dawn fire from the Croatian side is stopped so that Canadian troops began downloading the field. Vehicles are going through a far away zautavljeni on the blockade that has been made with mines and anti-tank obstacles. Behind the blockade on the horizon saw the smoke, and the place was seen and masked tank with its barrel was pointed toward the UN troops. At 8 o'clock at that point it was agreed between General Calvin and Ademi prone to blockage within four hours. After a four-hour blockade has not been removed. In 13 hours generals met again, and General Ademi asked again disposal. Not far away was a group of journalists and general Kalvin before the lock held a press conference, and seeing all that Croatian soldiers began to shelter blockade. Croatian forces quickly started withdrawing to positions of 9 September 1993. The withdrawal was verified in the 17th September 1993 in 18 hours.
"Sometimes he has to break the shit, and the matter must end. And all I ever heard from Croats at my level, they were some kind of vague excuses in order to stop us with the continuation of the operation."
- general Kalvin, a press conference on the blockade, September 17, 1993


General Kalvin later said: "27 members (Croatian army) were killed or wounded during combat operations with my battle group during 14 days in Medak." Croatia denies the events. In Canada the truth about the events and conflicts of Canadian and Croatian forces hidden for long. The soldiers could not believe that this conflict in Canada knew nothing. Only 1 December 2002 during a gathering of soldiers was awarded the courage they showed then. In the opening speech, Governor Edrijana Carlson
- "The simple fact is that only a small number of us Canadians know what you did in 1993 in Croatia. Your works have been nothing less than heroic, but this country is not recognized then."
During the action Croatian joint forces killed 46 soldiers SVK 6 RSK policemen and 36 Serbian civilians. Among civilians 26 people over the age of 60 years, 17 of them women. Total killed 88 Serbs. In this criminal action of the Croatian Army was not wounded on the Serbian side.

UNPROFOR troops from combat by pulled 18 bodies, most of which were mutilated and burned. Two bodies were found later, but a corpse they found soldiers RSK 1994. Only in 2000 was found 11 more (16) corpses hidden in a septic tank in the former Serbian part of the (eastern) Gospic. Of the 11 bodies 6 have been identified by the method of DNA. From a total of 88 missing, 84 were found with 8 corpses not yet identified.
"I have found no signs of life, neither men nor animals, in several villages through which we passed. The destruction was complete, systematic and deliberate".
- As a general Jean (Jean Cot), 19 September 1993.


This criminal operation Croatian army "Medak Pocket" was subjected to a strong international criticism and facing a political and military pressure, the Croatian government agreed to a ceasefire. The commander of the UN in Croatia, French General Jean Kot, organized and conducted negotiations meditation.
1994 in the area Teslingrad (Lički Osik) Lika Corps members were captured by members of the Croatian Army, Tilder Johana, who was a participant in the events in the Medak Pocket, as a member of a reconnaissance unit. In a statement given to describe the whole course of action, orders Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac, their own behavior and the behavior of individuals. He explained in detail the scene of the massacre and torture against persons who were found there.

Crime pays off: Ademi and Norac

Based on the investigation that led to the 2004 The Hague Prosecution has filed indictments for command responsibility against the Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Army General Janko Bobetko, commander of the Gospic Military District, General Rahim Ademi and the commander of the Ninth Guards Brigade General Mirko Norac. Janko Bobetko indictment was not handed over, because he died in April 2003.
Until the trial of Mirko Norac and Rahim Ademi in the Hague Tribunal has not occurred because the case was transferred to the Croatian judiciary in September 2005 and the Croatian judiciary issued an indictment only on 22 November 2006.

The trial began in June 2007 and ends on 31 May 2008, the oral pronouncement of judgment. During the trial heard the monstrous crimes and torture of Serbian population (tamping women at the stake, beheading, rasporivanje and throwing women in their own home, then burning, shooting knife retarded young man who was hanged upside down, etc.). It was also proved that in the attack exploited four times more artillery shells of the required number.
The verdict acquitted Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac was sentenced for failing to prevent the killings of civilians, looting of property and the killing and torture of prisoners of war to a single sentence of only 7 years old. Although Mirko Norac During his stay in prison was more at liberty than in prison: Marry is, had two children, graduated from college and others.

Do not forget and do not repeat!