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Dusan and Soka Vukicevic fled from Croatia in August 1995, during the "Storm" military operation, together with their four daughters. Dusan was wounded while in the refugee convoy and he still has several shell pieces in his leg.

They lived in Serbia in a collective centre in Smederevska Palanka for 6 years in extremely bad conditions.

IAN case workers visited them for the first time in April 2001 and distributed humanitarian aid packages provided in cooperation with CAFOD. In the meantime their daughters went away in search for durable solutions. Through several conversations with people from IAN, Soka and Dusan expressed a desire to return to their pre-war place of residence.

Dušan Vukicevic, born on 10 June 1939, Dragotina, Glina, February 2003


Their house in Glina , Croatia was not seriously damaged; however living in it was not possible. Through contacts with partner organisations in Croatia IAN worked on finding a possibility for reconstruction of the house. The reconstruction was arranged and it included roof replacement, repair of joinery and other smaller damage.


House of D. Vukicevic, Dragotina, Glina, April 2001 - before reconstruction

House of D. Vukicevic, Dragotina, Glina, February 2003 - after reconstruction (roof replaced, joinery repaired as well as other smaller damages)


The whole process of return was constantly followed by IAN case workers who provided advice, relevant information and links with other organisation assisting repatriation. In June 2002 Soka and Dusan returned. IAN organised their transport with UNHCR. Soon after the return they got telephone and electricity switched on.

In February 2003 IAN team visited them again, this time in their own house, wishing to find out how they lived and whether they were satisfied with their decision to return. They regularly receive pension and do some farm work.

... I always have food for myself and for treating others. My home has always been open and visited by people and they have always been offered good hospitality.

... Only, it's hard for me, I do not see my children. We talk over the phone, but it's not the same.


Dušan Vukicevic with his wife and neighbours, Dragotina, Glina, February 2003


Through the Repatriation project supported by CAFOD, IAN legal advisors have started the process of obtaining personal documents from Croatia for one of the Vukicevic`s daughters, so that she would be able to travel to Croatia and visit her parents.

They are satisfied, and grateful to all who helped them to be in their own house again.

...And we won't go anywhere from here, if there were thousands of wars. I'm not leaving my home ever again.





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