The Bosnian Serb entity’s vice-president Josip Jerković, who represents local Croats, said on Friday he had received assurances from the Serb leader Milorad Dodik that the planned route of the future motorway through the area of Modriča would be changed to avoid demolition of Croat houses in three villages.
Jerković told Hina that alterations would be made to the route, which is now planned to pass through the three Croat villages: Garevac, Čardak and Donji Kladari.
The plan to demolish some of the houses of Croat returnees for the purpose of the construction of the future motorway has caused great concern among local villagers and has promoted their representatives as well as Croatia’s office-holders to react.
Thus, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that Croatian authorities would investigate the possibility of changing the route of that motorway to run from Banja Luka to Belgrade whose construction would require the demolition of houses of Croat returnees in the municipality of Modriča in the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska. The PM said that he would check with the relevant authorities if it was possible to change the set motorway route.
Jerković said today that Dodik informed him about his talks with PM Plenković on Thursday and that Zagreb had requested the change of the route.
During the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost all houses in the Croat-populated villages of Garevac, Čardak and Donji Kladari had a population of about 8,000, were destroyed and their residents were expelled. when the area was occupied by Bosnian Serb forces.
The process of return was obstructed for years but the most persistent ones managed to rebuild their homes and the community in Garevac today numbers around 150 people, Hina reports.