Let's Not Militarize the Refugee Crisis in Croatia

The Croatian president's announcement to raise the degree of readiness of the Croatian Army ahead of the UN Security Council session is an unnecessary and insensitive response to the migrant crisis.

Centre for Peace Studies is shocked by the ignorance and insensitivity Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is showing towards the current refugee crisis. At a moment when Croatia is facing huge humanitarian challenges, the president is placing a completely inappropriate burden on the Croatian Army by raising its readiness status and tasking it with supervising the country’s borders.

The president has to understand that the refugees who are coming and who are passing through Croatia are not an occupying force but people who are running from war, and they include many children and other vulnerable groups. With her thoughtless and irresponsible attitudes, President Grabar-Kitarović is only spreading panic among Croatian citizens and exhausting important state resources in an absurd way.

Damaged reputation

In doing so, she is also harming the reputation of Croatia by making the same mistake as Hungary. At the same time, we applaud the intention of the Croatian Army to become involve on the humanitarian front of this crisis by providing logistical support to the police and civil society and by giving humanitarian aid to refugees.

We ask the citizens of Croatia to not fall for the president’s imprudent and insensitive opinions. Also, we invite her – in this moment of overwhelming humanitarian crisis – to behave with dignity and utmost respect towards every human life.