I expected to see a few remnants of the Yugoslavian war in the 1990’s but I have been shocked by the extent to which the town of Yukovar still bears the scars.
The story goes that in 1991 this historic town was obliterated and occupied by Serbian aggressors and the non Serbian population expelled and put in concentration camps. Re integration and reconstruction started in 1997 but from what I can see it is going very slowly.
The weather was aptly desolate as I entered the town passing multiple land mine signs ominously protruding from fields and woods.
Shells of buildings line the streets bearing random and different sized holes. Wooden frames still hanging from windows and burnt wooden roof beams look ready to collapse. It did not feel right taking any photos of the buildings where I know many hundreds of people were killed especially in front of local people. With discretion I wanted to make sure I don’t forget and personally document what damage war can cause to both people and infrastructure and that it does not end when the TV cameras turn another direction.
I have a great respect for the resilience of the people of this town with the constant reminders of pot holed streets and destroyed buildings. There is a common positive message of the importance of the young that flows through information that I read.
Vukovar, that city situated in the east of Croatia once well-developed and with a strong economy needs optimism of the young people who believe in potential of their city, those young people full of trust and eagerness to regain the power of its economy and hope in its future
The giant water tower that will remain as a war memorial is a striking reminder of Vuckovar as I leave the town passing a vast war cemetery and yet more land mine warning signs.