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Peaceful Reintegration
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The peaceful reintegration process implemented in Eastern Slavonia in the Croatian Danube region from 1996 to 1998 is one of the most successful UN peacekeeping missions ever. Without a single bullet shot and without any new casualties, the mission helped to restore the last occupied part of the Republic of Croatia to Croatian authorities, meaning that territorial integrity was established.

We invite you to browse this website to find out more about this unique peacekeeping mission.
 

Peaceful integration would never have been so successful without the strong engagement of civil society. Hundreds of peace activists and NGOs were active during the two-year period in the Danube region. They created communication channels and trust among a divided community, helped local governments, and supported the return of the population back to their homes. Explore interesting facts about peace points below:

During the peaceful reintegration process, the so-called Klein's Marketplace or Žika's Bazaar was established next to the road connecting Osijek and Vukovar. It was named after Jacques Paul Klein, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission, and was considered a long-awaited meeting point for citizens coming from both parts of the country – occupied and free. People traded literally everything during the weekends and all currencies were welcome; however, the most valuable asset was renewed communication among visitors. By September 1996, over 60000 people from both sides of the former demarcation line met over the first three months without a single incident being reported.
 

The projects “Peace Bridge” and “House of Encounter”, based in the Hungarian town of Mohács, reunited former neighbours, colleagues and friends that were separated by war for years. These projects set the ground for peacebuilding initiatives in the postwar period. Numerous Croatian and Serbian NGOs promoted gatherings in the “House of Encounter”, which connected peace activists at first and then citizens themselves. 

Following the completion of the peaceful reintegration process in cooperation with other NGOs, the Osijek Peace Centre implemented the Listening Project in Eastern Slavonia. Peacebuilding teams went to the homes of people who had stayed in the area, as well as to those of the returnees. They asked to have conversations and to be listened to. They encouraged people to talk. They took into account the different experiences and the viewpoints of the opposite side, and this in turn contributed to successful peaceful reintegration.

Back in 1993, around thirty professional journalists from former Yugoslav republics, who were aware of the detrimental role of the media in escalating the conflict, were supported by the European Civic Forum and other organizations to set up the Alternative Information Network (AIN). A special electronic communication system was established with the aim of facilitating exchanges among the warring countries, and high-quality anti-nationalist media content was provided. The AIM also supported existing independent media and supported the establishment of media outlets. 

The contribution to the 20th anniversary of the peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danube region (from 2018) gives insight into the personal experiences of people who lived in this region at that time:

The contribution to the 20th anniversary of the peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danube region (from 2018) gives insight into the personal experiences of people who lived in this region at that time: Play