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In the case of the war in Serbia there are several waves of displacement.

First there are Serbs who fled Croatia before the war started.
Then there are Croatian civilians who fled the shelling of civilian areas.
Then there are Serbs who came into the captured territories.
Then there are Serbs who fled before Operation Storm actually started.
Then there are Serbs who fled during Operation Storm.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 01:00:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then there are Serbs who came into the captured territories.

I was not aware of this. Who came from where to do what? This is the official NATO line.

by vladimir on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 01:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean war in Croatia not in Serbia.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 01:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I understood. Which Serb in his/her right mind would move to Krajna during the war? Krajna was ancient Serb homeland since the 14th-15th century - when the Habsburgs officialized this area as being Serb in return for protection against the Turks. The Serbs never 'occupied' Krajna... nor any part of Bosnia for that matter.
by vladimir on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 01:30:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
The Serbs never 'occupied' Krajna... nor any part of Bosnia for that matter.
The Krajina had Croatian and Serb villages interspersed among each other - the Krajina was not 100% Serb and apparently this was in part encouraged by Tito (both the interspersing and the concentration in majority Serb or Majority croat towns).

First some Serbs fled because they feared they would be attacked. Then the Croats were driven off by shelling, then the Croatian villages were settled or (more often) destroyed to prevent return. Then the same happened in reverse with Operation Storm: some serbs fled before it, some were driven off and then villages were destroyed to prevent return, or settled.

All of these with various degrees of "allegedly" and various sizes of people desplaced and houses destroyed.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 01:36:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We agree on the sequence of events except for the settlement of the abandoned Croat villages or homes. Who would have gone there? Except maybe Serbs displaced from other regions... but even there, refugees chose Serbia for peace... not Krajna to face another war.

It is in fact so difficult to 'resettle' an area that the Croats, some 13 years after Operation Storm, still can't fill up the empty ex-Serb villages. They're ghost towns.

by vladimir on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 02:28:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That might be because the industry in the areas was destroyed so the ability to support a population is greatly reduced.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 05:17:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so. It means that the Croat population hasn't increased by 300 000 over the past 10 years. In fact Croatia has a negative population growth rate.

Second, the Serbs didn't have a scorched earth policy. They didn't even have time to properly collect their belongings and flee when Storm began... let alone destroy industry.

Finally, the area was mostly agrarian - not industrial.

by vladimir on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 02:55:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Croatian invaders did destruction all on their own. However, there was not much industry to destroy, more the homes. The area was more agrarian. (Which also means that minefields could limit re-settlement, though minefields were more in the border regions and Croatia claims to have removed most.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 05:23:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition, supposedly Croatia recognises the right of Krajina Serbs "who didn't commit war crimes" to return.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 05:39:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But they all committed war crimes, didn't they? That's why nobody's going back. I know people who've lost property in Dubrovnik and can't recover it.
by vladimir on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 05:49:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are afraid they would be accused of war crimes if they came back, which is a different proposition than "they are all war criminals".

Not having first-hand knowledge I would have to take things such as the follosing at face value...

Serbs of Croatia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tension between Serbs and Croatians were violently high in 1990s.[citation needed] The violence has reduced since 2000 and has remained low to this day, however, significant problems remain.[15] The participation of the largest Serbian party SDSS in the Croatian Government of Ivo Sanader has eased tensions to an extent, but the refugee situation is still politically sensitive.[citation needed] The main issue is high-level official and social discrimination against the Serbs.[4] At the height levels of the government, new laws are continuously being introduced in order to combat this discrimination, thus, demonstrating an effort on the part of government.[15] For example, lengthy and in some cases unfair proceedings,[15] particularly in lower level courts, remain a major problem for Serbian returnees pursuing their rights in court.[15] In addition, Serbs continue to be discriminated against in access to employment and in realizing other economic and social rights.[citation needed] Also some cases of violence and harassment against Croatian Serbs continue to be reported.[15] The property laws allegedly favor Bosnian Croatians refugees who took residence in houses that were left unoccupied and unguarded by Serbs after Operation Storm.[15] Amnesty International's 2005 report considers one of the greatest obstacles to the return of thousands of Croatian Serbs has been the failure of the Croatian authorities to provide adequate housing solutions to Croatian Serbs who were stripped of their occupancy rights, including where possible by reinstating occupancy rights to those who had been affected by their discriminatory termination[15] The European Court of Human Rights decided against Croatian Serb Kristina Blečić, stripped her of occupancy rights after leaving his house in 1991 in Zadar.[16]

Operation Storm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Approximately 300,000 Croatian Serbs were displaced during the entire war, only a third of which (or about 117,000) are officially registered as having returned as of 2005[update]. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 200,000 Croatian refugees, mostly Croatian Serbs, are still displaced in neighbouring countries and elsewhere. Many Croatian Serbs cannot return because they have lost their tenancy rights and under threats of intimidation.* Croatian Serbs continue to be the victim of discrimination in access to employment and with regard to other economic and social rights. Some cases of violence and harassment against Croatian Serbs continue to be reported.[53] Some of the Croatian Serbs will not return out of fear of being charged for war crimes, as the Croatian police has secret war crime suspect lists; Croatia passed an Amnesty law for anyone who had not taken an active part in the war, but many do not know if they are on amnesty list or not because amnesty rules are not clear enough.[5] [6] The return of refugees is further complicated by the fact that many Croats and Bosniaks (some expelled from Bosnia) have taken residence in their vacated houses. Another reason for the non-return of refugees is the fact that areas that were under Croatian Serb control during the 1991-95 period were economically ruined (unemployment in RSK was 92%). Since that time, Croatia has started a series of projects aimed at rebuilding these areas and jump-starting the economy (including special tax exemptions), but unemployment is still high.
(my emphasis in both cases)

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 06:49:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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