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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Prime Minister Janez Janša at the ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the completion of the BOR Operation

By: UKOM

Prime Minister Janez Janša attended a ceremony marking the end of the BOR Operation, at which he delivered a welcome address, and the keynote speaker was Stane Praprotnik, a member of the National Emergency Coordination Group, which led the country’s defence against the Yugoslav People’s Army. In front of the memorial to the fallen police officers in the war for Slovenia, the Prime Minister laid a wreath in the Tacen Memorial Park together with the key actors of the time: Igor Bavčar, Brigadier General Anton Krkovič and Dimitrij Rupel.

The Tacen ceremony was also attended by the Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs. Igor Pirkovič with his with poetry recitations and the brass quartet of the Slovenian Police Orchestra contributed to the ceremony’s cultural programme.

In his welcome address, Prime Minister Janez Janša said that many important, especially operational, decisions had been made in Tacen with the aim of securing Slovenia’s independence with real force. Decisions were also made in Tacen on two operations, BOR (purchase of weapons) and KANAL (purchase of radio stations), to which today’s ceremony was dedicated.

During his address, the Prime Minister further highlighted the events of 30 years ago. Slovenia’s independence followed the rule of law, which meant that key documents had to be adopted by the then parliament, including the defence budget. It was proposed by the Demos government in October 1990, and was adopted six months later after lengthy deliberations, coordination and overriding. As there was no money, there were no funds for defence, and military training was postponed. All this was possible only after the adoption of the defence budget. After that, the saga of waiting for the outcome began. “On this day 30 years ago, a ship with weapons, which should have arrived on 10 June, finally arrived in Slovenia. Due to various controls by the Yugoslav Navy, the ship’s voyage took 11 days.” The Prime Minister went on to recall that radio transceivers from Great Britain had already been loaded onto the plane, but the Yugoslav Air Force threatened to shoot it down, so the plane was forced to turned round. Stane Praprotnik, a member of the National Emergency Coordination Group ensured the arrival of these radio transceivers in Tacen by road. “With this shipment of weapons, Slovenia probably exceeded the critical point of its own defence readiness; if it had not, the big question is what would have happened later, when Slovenia was attacked. At that time, other weapons were in short supply in the country. This shipload of weapons boosted Slovenia’s defence power in comparison to the previous situation.

A week earlier, more than 5,000 young men who served in special units of the Yugoslav Army in the previous five years had been mobilised. According to the plans, more than 30 assault troops and detachments were intended for key actions: the seizure of Yugoslav Army weapons and equipment storage facilities, taking control of border crossings, and other operations that required specialist knowledge and skills. Thousands of young men were mobilised, but had no weapons. The commanders of the units were also in a difficult situation due to this lack. The ship carrying a cargo of weapons arrived at the last moment. “If it had arrived later, we would have no one to whom to distribute the weapons, as people would no longer believe that the weapons would arrive at all.” According to the Prime Minister, when weapons from the ship were distributed, the prevailing view was that Slovenia was strong enough to defend its independence.

Prime Minister concluded his description of historical events by saying that it is right to remember these events after 30 years, and thanked all those involved in the creation of the Slovenian state. “Let me give you my sincere congratulations on this 30th anniversary milestone, our shared birthday”, said Prime Minister in the conclusion of his welcome address.

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