During the Saturday protest, demonstrators and war crime survivors expressed frustration at what they believed was insufficient government effort to bring those guilty of the war crimes to justice.
Many numerous massacres happened at the hands of the Serb-dominated Yugoslav People’s Army and its allies as it fought against Croatian independence. Vukovar, however, witnessed the bloodiest onslaught after an estimated 260 hospitalized Croats were executed despite an earlier agreement with between Croat and Yugoslav authorities to safely evacuate the injured occupants of the hospital, Presstv Reported.
Two Yugoslav army officers were sentenced by the Hague war crimes tribunal for the massacre, but very few other perpetrators have been tried ever since.
Speaking at the rally, witnesses of the massacre claimed that some of those involved in the killings still continue to live in the city.
“We should have organized this gathering much earlier... They keep saying for 27 years that there is no statute of limitations on war crimes, so how it is possible that there are no prosecutions?” said Vukovar war veteran Tomislav Josic.
The protest was organized by the city’s right-wing mayor Ivan Penava who met the huge crowd announcing that “we are here to say enough is enough.”
Some analysts, however, believe the protest is originally intended to be part of a larger politically motivated move against the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic by right-wing hardliners in his ruling Croatian Democratic Union party, an accusation Penava has denied.
Croatia, which joined the European Union in 2013, has recently witnessed a rise in right-wing sentiments.