15:14 / 04.08.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Plenković attends ceremony marking the 32nd anniversary of the ‘First Croatian Defender’

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Foto: Miroslav Lelas / PIXSELL

Unable to establish its own armed forces in the early stages of its fight for independence due to what was effectively an international embargo, Croatia launched the ‘First Croatian Defenders’ course on August 5th of 1990 to train police forces to respond to the growing threat from the Yugoslav People’s Army, which was under Serb control in Belgrade, and from Serb paramilitary forces.

A special forum marking the 32nd anniversary of the launching of the ‘First Croatian Defenders’ course was held in Split on Thursday, a day ahead of the 27th anniversary of Operation Storm, which liberated a large chunk of Croatian territory occupied by rebel Serbs. In his address Prime Minister Andrej Plenković thanked all of the members of the ‘First Croatian Police Force’ for their immeasurable contribution to Croatian independence. He added that he was especially pleased to be participating in the forum on the eve of Victory Day and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Croatian Veterans Day, which are celebrated on August 5th in conjunction with the anniversary of Operation Storm. He emphasized the bravery shown by those who joined the Croatian Police in 1990, a time when Croatia was effectively under an arms embargo and unable to organize any formal military defenses.

Deputy Prime Minister and Internal Affairs Minister Davor Božinović was also on hand, noting that the ‘First Croatian Defenders’ unit has a symbolic meaning in the Croatian struggle for independence and freedom: “In a way, we can say that it all started on August 5th, 1990, and ended on the same August 5th five years later with Operation Storm. These are the people who first responded to President Franjo Tuđman’s invitation to create an independent Croatia. They responded to a call that had only two conditions, volunteerism and patriotism.

Deputy Prime Minister and Veterans’ Affairs Minister, Tomo Medved, congratulated all of the members of the ‘First Croatian Defenders’ unit, emphasizing that the unit represents the very essence of the Croatian Police and thanking them for everything they did for Croatian freedom.

Source: HRT

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