The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs forwarded a strongly-worded protest note to Serbia’s Ambassador Mira Nikolić over the unveiling of a monument to Milan Tepić on 29 September 2017 in Belgrade.
Former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) Major Milan Tepić blew up 170 tonnes of ammunition and explosives at an ammunition depot in Barutana near Bjelovar on 29 September 1991. His plan was to blow up the entire depot, which would have, had he not been thwarted in his insane attempt by Croatian soldiers, resulted in Bjelovar’s being razed to the ground. Eleven Croatian soldiers died.
The MFEA sent a protest note to Belgrade as early as 7 March this year, when the Serbian government adopted a conclusion to erect and pay for a monument commemorating Tepić.
The MFEA once again warns about the unacceptability of such decisions and actions taken by the Serbian authorities, which run counter to Croatia’s efforts to build good neighbourly relations despite the not so distant aggression conducted by Serbia and the JNA against Croatia.
The erection of the monument to “a war hero of the liberation war” at a ceremony with state honours confirms that Serbia is still unable to deal with the past and its role in the bloody collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).