Atrocities commited by the Yugoslav Army and Chetniks over Croatian civilians in the village of Lovas during 1991 Cover Image

Stradanje hrvatskih civila u selu Lovas od postrojbi jugoslavenske vojske i èetnika 1991
Atrocities commited by the Yugoslav Army and Chetniks over Croatian civilians in the village of Lovas during 1991

Author(s): Šimun Penava
Subject(s): History
Published by: Hrvatski institut za povijest
Keywords: Lovas; Croatian Homeland War; crisis center; minefields; victims; refugees; Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA); Chetniks; war crimes

Summary/Abstract: As early as May 1991 about ten Serbs from the Lovas village, situated some twenty kilometers from the town of Vukovar, and only two kilometers from the Vojvodina border, crossed the border to join the voluntary chetnik forces in Serbia. The village executive authorities founded a crisis center which tried to protect the village armed with nothing more than plain hunting guns from overt threats of the Jugoslav Army. On several occasions negotiations were held with officers of the Jugoslav Army on a paeceful surrender of the village. Members of the Novi Sad division of the Jugoslav army and the chetnik forces «Dušan silni» mounted an attack on October 10th, 1991 killing twenty civilians, all Croats. On October 18th, 1991 special Jugoslav Armed Forces together with the local Lovas chetniks planted landmines at the entrance into the village and forced a group of 50 civilians into the minefield, whereby 21 were killed, and 14 wounded. 19 more villagers were killed on that same day. On December 23rd, 1991 six more people were killed. The victims were burried in a mass grave in the catholic cemetery. 261 family homes were completely destroyed together with all the economic and social facilities. The catholic church od Saint Michael was also levelled with the ground. 1341 people were banished from the village. During the UNPROFOR-a mandate in 1993 three more people were killed. 11 inhabitants of the Lovas village lost their lives during 1991 and 1992 as members of the Croatian army. Atotal of 84 Croats were killed, and not one Serb lost his life. At the site of destroyed family houses, a Serbian orthodox church was erected, which had never existed in the village before. It was torn down in 2000 pursuant to the decision of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning. In July 1997 mortal remains were excavated from the mass grave, the victims were identified and interred on March 21st, 1998. Three more inhabitants of Lovas are still considered missing. On September 16th, 2003 the County Court of Vukovar initiated legal proceedings against Ljuban Devetak and seventeen other suspects in the criminal act of genocide over Croatians in the village of Lovas during October 1991. Slobodan Milošević is currently standing trial before the Hague War Crimes Tribunal for the war crimes committed in Lovas. So far several inhabitants of Lovas have witnessed in the trial.

  • Issue Year: 2004
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 391-401
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Croatian