The Slovenia Times

President decorates members of 1991 special operations unit


The decision, involving army officer Tone Krkovič, has been raising some eyebrows due to fears it will add fuel to the independence war disputes.

Pahor conferred on the special unit, which was part of the predecessor to the modern-day Slovenian Armed Forces, the Order of Freedom, a state decoration for services that contributed to Slovenia's independence.

The president revived the order after its awarding had been suspended for ten years due to disputes between veterans over the contribution of various groups and military units to Slovenia's independence.

Members of the special operations unit, which later took the name of Moris, operated under the command of Krkovič, who remains one of the closest allies of Democrats (SDS) leader Janez Janša.

Determined to defend the right of Slovenians to independence and protect sovereignty of the newly formed state, members of Moris carried out one of the most important operations of the Territorial Defence in the independence war, the president's office said.

They prevented the transport of weapons from an armoury of the Yugoslav People's Army (JLA) in Podstrmec near Borovnica and on 28 June confiscated a large quantity of weapons, mines and army equipment, which significantly boosted the capabilities of the Territorial Defence in the ten-day independence war.

They succeeded in this despite the many JLA soldiers stationed in near-by army barracks.

The president's office also pointed out that the operation had been conduced without any victims.

Today's conferring of the Order of Freedom to the 21 members of Moris is part of the celebrations of Slovenia's 25th independence anniversary.

Pahor also conferred on Saturday the Order of Freedom on sixteen policemen wounded during the independence war in 1991.

In May, he gave it to Boris Fras, an electrician who was wounded in skirmishes with the Yugoslav army in May 1991 and is considered the first independence victim.


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