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Following the new secret negotiations between Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman about the division and destruction of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with its collaborationist formations (Croatian Defence Council)[1], the Army of the Republic of Croatia launched an occupation offensive against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, in compliance with the Greater Croatia program on formation of the “joint Croatian state within its ethnic and historical borders”, the Republic of Croatia became openly involved in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus becoming an aggressor itself when it used to be a victim of the Greater Serbia aggression.

a) Covert Aggression (November 1991 — January 1993)

With establishment of the collaborationist Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia (November 18, 1991), the officers of the Croatian Army formed, organized and led the armed units in this collaborationist creation.

Thus, the Croatian Army had been present in Bosnia and Herzegovina since that time,[2] which was constantly corroborated through its immediate participation in the aggression and other forms of crime, including, in addition to the logistical supply, directing and commanding, also the overall support to its collaborationist forces — Croatian Defence Council.

On December 7, 1991, the meeting of the representatives of crisis headquarters and military commanders of the Central and Southern Dalmatia, held near Ploce, was also attended by the representatives of the municipalities of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia. Among them, in the capacity of “military commissioner” of the “Main headquarters for the Croatian Union of Municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina” was also Mate Boban, President of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia.[3]

The following was concluded at that meeting:

1. to draft a joint plan for defence of the Central and Southern Dalmatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina;

2. to regulate the status and salaries of officers “leading the units in Herzeg-Bosnia”;

3. “to carry out redistribution of arms” and to “train special units”;

4. The Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army shall organize a joint command for the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia and for the Central and Southern Dalmatia, that is, Southern Croatia;

5. to have the communications system in West Herzegovina “fit into the communications system of Croatia, through the PTT enterprise in Split and its chief, Juraj Buzolic”.[4]

At the next meeting, held in Glavice near Sinj, on December 28, 1991,[5] the following was decided:

1. to appoint the commander and command for the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia and Southern Croatia, initially seated in Imotski, “and in the case of war in Herzeg-Bosnia”;

2. to “immediately resolve the status and salaries of the officers in Herzeg-Bosnia”;

3. to have “the supplies strengthened in terms of arms, ammunition, clothing and footwear” for the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia;

4. to “make a joint organization in operational and strategic terms” from Neum up to Travnik and from Trebinje up to Livno;

5. to have a “special unit” formed which would be the Rapid flying Regiment King Tomislav of some 900 men, commanded by Daidza.[6]

At the third meeting, held a month afterwards — on January 28, 1992, the following conclusions were adopted:

1. regulation of status and salaries of the officers “leading the units in Herzeg-Bosnia”;

2. engagement in joint defence of the Neretva river delta;

3. formation and equipping of “autonomous and combined Muslim- Croatian units”.[7]

The meetings of December 7 and 28, 1991, among other things concluded to draft the joint plan of defence and to form the Joint Command for South Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina which was the territory of the collaborationist Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia. These conclusions, in particular formation of the Joint Command, were implemented by General Bobetko, after he had been appointed commander of the Southern Frontline, on April 10, 1992.[8]

All of the aforementioned meetings discussed regulation of the status and salaries of the officers of the Croatian Army who were leading the armed units in the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia. This collaborationist creation was discussed as though this was not at all the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the territory of the Republic of Croatia. This was obviously shown in the aforementioned conclusions, as well as the testimonies of General Spegelj.[9]

The regular units of the Republic of Croatia, commanded by the high-ranking officers of the Croatian Army, participated in the combat activities against Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to conquer a part of the Republic. These were the following units — either complete or partially — of the Croatian Army:

- forty-five brigades (1st Brigade; 1st A Brigade — 1st Brigade of the National Guard District — ZNG; 2nd Brigade; 3rd Brigade; 3rd A Brigade — 3rd Brigade of the ZNG; 4th Brigade; 5th Brigade; 7th Brigade; 100th Brigade; 101st Brigade; 102nd Brigade; 103rd Brigade; 104th Brigade, 105th Brigade; 106th Brigade; 108th Brigade; 109th Brigade; 110th Brigade; 111th Brigade; 112th Brigade; 114th Brigade; 115th Brigade; 116th Brigade; 117th Brigade; 118th Brigade; 119th Brigade, 120th Brigade; 123rd Brigade; 126th Brigade; 127th Brigade; 128th Brigade; 139th Brigade; 140th Brigade; 141st Brigade; 145th Brigade; 153rd Brigade; 156th Brigade; 157th Brigade; 159th Brigade; 162nd Brigade; 163rd Brigade; 166th Brigade; 175th Brigade; 203rd Brigade; and the 1st Medical Brigade;

- four regiments (1st Volunteer Regiment of King Tomislav; Regiment of Bruno Busic; 5th Domobran Regiment, and 11th Domobran Regiment;

- eight battalions (60th Autonomous Battalion of Ludvig Pavlovic - unit for special purposes; 2nd Autonomous Battalion; Autonomous Battalion of Frankopan; 66th Battalion of Military Police; 67th Autonomous Battalion of Military Police; 4th Autonomous Battalion of Zrinjski; 33rd Engineering Battalion, and the Battalion of Matija Vlacic);

- an artillery regiment (4th Artillery Regiment);

- two divisions (55th Light Artillery Division of Anti-Aircraft Defence from Sisak, and 2nd Motorized Artillery Division of the Operational Zone of Osijek);

- one mixed party of the naval parachute infantry (Mixed Part of the Naval Parachute Infantry);

- one helicopter escadrille (helicopter escadrille);

- two tactical groups (Tactical Group 2 — TG 2, and Tactical Group 4 — TG 4);

- ten special units (Group for Anti-Tank Action — POG from Sisak, Giants; Tigers from Zagreb; Scorpios; Alkari; Wolves; Pumas from Varazdin; Kune from Osijek; Spiders from Split, and Thunderbolts from Sisak);

- a number of commando and other types of units.[10]

With the aforementioned and other forces, in the period from November 1991 through March 18, 1994,[11] the Republic of Croatia participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, perpetrating numerous crimes, including the genocide against Bosniaks, particularly in Central Bosnia and the valley of the Neretva river. Together with its collaborationist units, the Croatian Army attacked and destroyed many cities and towns, such as for instance, Prozor, Mostar, Sovici, Doljani, Ahmici, and other places. These forces occupied a number of cities and villages, and besieged others, and in doing so, they intensively shelled them and prevented arrival of humanitarian aid and staple food items.[12]

On April 10, 1992 (at 22:30 h), pursuant to Article 52, paragraph 1, point 1 of the Law on Defence, “given the extraordinary circumstances in relation to escalation of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also endangering the border areas of the Republic of Croatia”, President of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, passed Order no. PA 7-28/I-92, appointing Janko Bobetko, General of the Army District, commander of “all the units of the Croatian Army on the southern frontline from Split to Dubrovnik”. The same order establishes the powers and tasks of General Bobetko. He was the one to whom “all the commands of the aforementioned sector were subordinated, including those from the Croatian War Navy”. The task was that “as needed, from their composition, the headquarters of the Southern Frontline would also be formed”.[13]

President Franjo Tudjman brought this order having in mind “the extraordinary circumstances in relation to escalation of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. This means that based on the circumstances prevalent in the neighbouring state rather than in the Republic of Croatia, he brought such a decision. Indeed, he claims that “the escalation of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina” “also endangers the border areas of the Republic of Croatia”.[14]

The operational area of responsibility of the Southern Frontline encompassed the southern part of Croatia and apart of the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (part of Herzegovina and Central Bosnia), on which the collaborationist creation of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia was formed.[15]

This frontline initially saw involvement of the 1st, and then 115th, and 116th Brigades of the Croatian Army, with the 4th Brigade also arriving subsequently (from Metkovic, Ploce, and Split).[16]

The territory of the Republic of Croatia from Dubrovnik to Split constituted the Operational zone whose command was in Split (OZ Split), under the command of Mato Viduka. All the units of the Croatian Army within the OZ Split were under direct command of the commander of the Southern Frontline, General Bobetko.[17]

Pursuant to the aforementioned order by Franjo Tudjman, and other documents and direct testimonies by generals Janko Bobetko and Martin Spegelj, the war goals of the Republic of Croatia can be established — occupation a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[18] This is even more strongly expressed in the Order of the commander of the Operational zone of Split (IZM Ploce), dated April 12, 1992. Namely, on April 12, General Bobetko arrived in Ploce, to his front command position, and ordered to the commander of the Operational Zone of Split, Mato Viduka, to send a part of the Croatian Army forces into the broader area of the Slipcici village, south of Mostar.[19]

The order was issued “based on the current situation in Herzeg- Bosnia, in relation to the order of general of the army district Janko Bobetko”. It was ordered to the commander of the 4th Battalion of the 4th Brigade of the ZNG to march during the night of April 12-13, 1992, with his unit in the direction of Rab-Opuzen-Metkovic-Ljubuski- Citluk-Slipcici village, in order to arrive in the area of the Slipcici- Tepcici-Dobro Selo villages, in order to organize persistent defence, with maximum obstruction and digging in, in order to prevent “the enemy from pushing through in the direction of Citluk”. Vladimir Perak, commander of “defence” of that part of Herzegovina had already been in Citluk at the time.[20]

Pursuant to the aforementioned order, the units of the 4th Brigade of the ZNG (4th Battalion) took the “sensitive and key positions in Herzegovina”.[21]

Pursuant to the order by Franjo Tudjman dated April 10, 1992, that he was “the commander of all the units of the Croatian Army at the Southern Frontline from Split to Dubrovnik”, General Bobetko was (in addition to being the commander of the Southern Frontline) also the commander of the Main Headquarters of Herzeg-Bosnia. In that capacity, on April 12, he also issued the (first) Order to Colonel Vladimir Perak.[22]

After Kupres was taken by the Greater Serbia aggressor (on April 7, 1992), where the Croatian army was defeated,[23] the Croatian units withdrew and abandoned their positions. In the phase of abandoning Suica and descent of the Chetniks from Kupres to Suica, together with Miroslav Tudjman, Vukojevic, and Mato Boban, General Bobetko arrived in Suica. He undertook certain measures to preserve Suica, in order to “save” the whole of that area, through which the front line at Suica remained “defended”,[24] that is, occupied by the Croatian army.

Starting from the assessment that the “situation Herzegovina is gaining some unfavourable courses” and expecting the main direction of the Chetniks to come along the left bank of the Neretva, General Bobetko approached to quick arrangement of the “serious territory in Herzegovina”, in order to accomplish the following goals: “defence this territory, preserve it and create the preconditions for the attack activities towards Dubrovnik, and for preparation of the operation “Cagalj”, meaning liberation of the left and rights banks of the Neretva, conquest of Stolac, Blagaj, and together with the HVO forces, from the direction of Mostar, the taking of the very city”. Thus, on April 15, he issued the order to the commander of the Dubrovnik Sector defence to take the positions on the line of Budisavina-Crnoglav-Stolovic, and defend them at any price until further notice, and to defend at any price the region of Metkovic-Dracevac-Mt. Bulutovac-Hutovo Blato. In the same order, General Bobetko also commanded the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council to take the right bank of the Neretva from the units of the Territorial Defence and to prevent “the passage of the Chetniks from the left onto the right bank of the river” and to obstruct from tank attacks and to persistently defend the direction of Surmanci-Sevas Polje, that is, Sevas Polje-Surmanci, “as the probable direction of attack of an armed battalion”.[25]

For the sake of easier and more efficient coordination of forces on the territory of South Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the area of the collaborationist Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia), within the Operational Zone of Split, there was a Forefront Command Place of Ploce formed (IZM Ploce), seated in Ploce. General Bobetko, commander of the Southern Frontline, issued orders from the IZM Ploce on the combat activities of the Croatian Army in the part of the Republic of Croatia and in the neighbouring state — parts of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (part of Herzegovina and Central Bosnia).[26]

“For the sake of more efficient commanding and coordination of the combat activities at the Southern Frontline”, General Bobetko undertook certain organizational measures in “settling” of this portion of the front (he began “settling” the part of the units that were found in Herzegovina, in an effort to come closer with the part of the Command to the Livno, Mostar and Duvno directions). In relation to this, on April 15, 1992, in Grude, he had formed an IZM — Forefront Command Place of the Southern Frontline (the command place was located in the Grude Tobacco Station), where the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council was situated. In this way, he approximated his command place and created a bigger insight and bigger operational efficiency in “settling of the territory”.[27]

In his absence, pursuant to the Commands dated April 16, 1992, General Bobetko appointed Colonel of the Croatian Army Milivoj Petkovic the responsible officer at the IZM in Grude, with “all the powers of commanding and coordinating of the combat activities”.[28]

On the same day, that is, on April 16, 1992, General Bobetko appointed the composition of the command at the IZM Grude, Command of the Southern Frontline: Milivoj Petkovic, Colonel; Jure Zadro, Lieutenant; Dzevad Saric, Captain; Petar Martinovic, Lieutenant; Andjelko Juricic, Sergeant; Bozo Zovko, Sergeant; Bruno Stojic, a civilian; Zarko Keza, captain; Andjelka Stojic, a civilian; Pero Majic, a civilian, and Ante Jelavic, Major.

Two platoons (a platoon of military police and a communications platoon) were placed directly under the Command at the IZM Grude. The command was placed on the payroll of the Operational Zone of Split.[29]

From April 19, 1992, General Bobetko was the commander of the Southern Frontline Forces and the commander of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council, subordinated to the Command of the Southern Frontline, that is, to General Bobetko.

By formation off the IZM Grude, the commanding and coordination over the combat activities of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council on the territory of the collaborationist Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia was conducted from two forefront command places of the Southern Frontline: IZM Ploce, and IZM Grude.[30]

After formation of the IZM in Grude, General Bobetko proceeded with “formation of the commands for individual directions”, determining the time, the goals, the tasks, and their compositions. For the “organization and defence” of the direction of Tomislavgrad, on April 20, 1992, Bobetko issued an Order regulating the composition of that command. Namely, “for the sake of accomplishing efficient, operational and secure commanding in the units of the HVO of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia”, he appointed the officers at the Command of defence of Tomislavgrad: Zarko Tole (Colonel), Commander; Zeljko Siljeg (Major), Vice Commander; Jozo Smiljanic (Captain), Chief of Staff of the Operational Training Department; Stjepan Zrno (Captain), officer in the Operational Training Department; Ivan Tanjic (Sergeant), Chief of Staff of the artillery; Stipo Cavar (Captain), Chief of Staff of the anti-aircraft defence; Zdravko Krajina (Captain), Chief of Staff of the communications; Ante Bartulovic (Major), Chief of Staff of the engineering; and Ivan Letica (Sergeant), Chief of Staff of the intelligence.[31]

Starting from the assessment that each organization, on the occasion of forming the command, from among the significant issues related to clear definition of responsibility and determination of the closer and broader tasks must also regulate the competencies and the areas of responsibility of the subordinates, on April 21, 1992, in Grude, General Bobetko issued the Order making the division of the areas of responsibility and the tasks, “as one of the principal issues at the line of command”. With this order, “for the sake of more effective and operational commanding”, he made the distribution of the areas of responsibility and appointed the responsible officers for the area of Livno and the area of Tomislav- Prozor-Konjic. For the Livno direction (area of Livno), he determined that the responsible person will be General Major of the Croatian Army Ante Roso, and for organization of defence in the direction of Tomislavgrad (the area of Tomislavgrad-Prozor-Konjic), he appointed brigadier of the Croatian Army Miljenko Crnjec. In his orders, General Bobetko specified the time, goals, closer and broader tasks and the compositions of the commands, and clearly linked the lines of reporting, obligations, competencies and areas of responsibility of his subordinates. General Ante Roso was directly subordinated to the Command of the Southern Frontline (“this command”), at which “all the reports and requests” were to be submitted to IZM Grude, and brigadier Miljenko Crnjec was “obligated to establish the most successful cooperation and coordinate all the activities in that area”.[32]

Around April 20, General Bobetko also formed the Command of Sector for Siroki Brijeg, Citluk, Ljubuski, and Capljina, headed by general major of the Croatian Army Slobodan Praljak.[33]

In the aforementioned enactments, General Bobetko set exact tasks, as well as the composition of the commands of specific directions. He believed that regulation, method of work, responsibilities and communications are some of the direct tasks that they will have towards the IZM Grude. In relation to this, he also issued the first Command on their appointment and taking on the duty, their obligations, arising from the assessment, and all measures for further building of the system and defence of those directions.[34]

The aforementioned measures were aimed at “organizational settling of the unsettled and unclear situation in terms of commanding, responsibilities and manner of execution of tasks”, that is, “quick settling of this rather serious space in Herzegovina”. All should be done in order to conquer that territory, meaning taking of the left and right bank of the Neretva, then of Stolac, Blagaj and (together with the HVO forces) of Mostar.[35]

General Bobetko transferred to the south part of the front, including Herzegovina, a special unit for anti-tank combat from Sisak, among others. This group for anti-tank combat (POG), “skilled and equipped for day and night action”, was sent, together with Commander Jadranko Garbin, to the composition of the 156th brigade of the Croatian Army.[36]

Janko Bobetko issued orders to the HVO, such as the orders dated April 28, 1992, submitted to the Croatian Defence Council of Posusje,[37] and June 14, 1992, related to issuance of military accreditations to the members of the units of the Croatian Defence Council.[38] The civilian authorities of the “Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia” were also subordinated to the Croatian Army. For illustration of this statement, we shall indicated upon the order from General Bobetko to the presidents of the Stolac and Neum municipalities, dated April 29, 1992, for formation of units.[39]

In order to take the Neretva valley, with the city of Mostar, among other things, General Bobetko reinforced his forces by bringing in new units of the Croatian Army from the Republic of Croatia. Thus, in late April 1992, in Sinj, the Tactical Group (TG) was deployed with some 800 well armed and experienced soldiers, “prepared for use on the territory of Livno-Tomislavgrad”.[40]

Based on the proposals and requests of the minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia, Gojko Susak, on May 7, 1992, General Bobetko appointed brigadier Zdravko Andabak to the office of commander of the Sector Mostar-Siroki Brijeg-Citluk-Capljina, as a replacement for general Praljak, who had been dismissed from his previous duty.[41]

Given that the Chetniks “could engage in other directions of action too, such as Bugojno, Travnik, Konjic, and Prozor”, “in order to organize effective defence and integration of the existing commands in Central Bosnia”, on May 19, 1992, General Bobetko issued the command (“the command shall come into effect immediately”) for formation of the IZM — Forefront Command Place of Central Bosnia in Gornji Vakuf. Zarko Tole, brigadier of the Croatian Army, was appointed commander. Pursuant to that order, he had all the powers of coordination and commanding over the forces on the territory of Central Bosnia: Busovaca, Vitez, Novi Travnik, Travnik, Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, Tomislavgrad, and Posusje (the area of responsibility of IZM Central Bosnia).[42]

On May 19, 1992, General Bobetko appointed Colonel Ivan Kapular commander of the defence forces of Tomislavgrad.[43]

On the same day (May 19), “in order to reinforce the Bugojno defence forces, to create security and firmness in the direction of D. Vakuf — Bugojno”, General Bobetko also issued the Order for preparation and deploying of the “Frankopan” Battalion into Central Bosnia — to Bugojno. Major Ivan Zoric — Zulu was in charge of preparation and its transferring to Bugojno.[44]

In early June 1992, “based on the conditions created for inclusion into defence efforts of the military conscripts expelled from the territory of the Stolac municipality, in order to ensure a more effective combat activity”, General Bobetko decided to form the Stolac Battalion, and on June 6, he issued the Command on its establishment. This order determined the method of forming of this unit, its equipping (“this shall be done by the Frontline logistics” — Command of the Southern Frontline), and training.[45]

In the period from April 12, until mid-July 1992, under the direct command of the commander of the Southern Frontline, general Janko Bobetko, the main body or parts of the following units of the Croatian Army were participating in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

- 1st “A” Brigade of the ZNG;

- 4th Brigade of the ZNG (on the territory of Ljubuski and Citluk);

- 101st “R” Brigade of the ZNG;

- 115th Brigade (on the territory of Livno and Tomislavgrad);

- 116th Brigade (from Metkovic — on the territory of Capljina and Stolac, commander of the brigade Luka Dzanko);

- 126th Brigade (on the territory of Livno and Tomislavgrad);

- 153rd “R” Brigade;

- 156th Brigade (on the territory of the Dubravska Plateau and beyond, commander captain of the corvette Ante Urlic);

- Tactical Group 2 (TG-2), commander Colonel Ivan Beneta;

- Tactical Group 4 — (TG-4), (on the territory of Livno and Tomislavgrad);

- Tactical Group (TG) of Sinj;

- Battalion “Frankopan” (in the area of responsibility of IZM Central Bosnia, commander major Ivan Zoric)

- Group for anti-tank combat (POG), from Sisak;

- Communications platoon (N) of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army.[46]

- 1st Volunteer Regiment Kralj Tomislav (in the area of Capljina, commanded by Nijaz Batlak, aka Mate Sarlija, “Daidza”).[47]

From mid-1991, there were also the “Special Units of the HV” in the Croatian Army, which were “intended for tasks of patrolling and deployment in the depth of the enemy’s defence”. These units were commanded by General Ante Roso, former legionary, who had passed top French commander education, and had experience with such actions, and who was in charge of their formation and inclusion into the Croatian Army.[48] Such Special Forces of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army included the following units:

1. The First Volunteer Regiment Kralj Tomislav or the Speed flying Regiment, commanded by Brigadier Daidza. Its command place, pursuant to the enactment by minister Susak dated February 4, 1992, was at the Military Resort in Basko Polje.[49]

2. Battalion Frankopan, commanded by Colonel Ilija Tot, arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina in early April 1992, to the frontline near Suica.[50]

3. Party Uskok from Osijek,[51] and others.

Under the command of General Bobetko, for a long time since, the Croatian Army had been planning the aggressive offensive of the Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina - taking of the Neretva valley and in particular of the cities of Capljina, Mostar, and Stolac. After taking of Capljina,[52] the Croatian Army waged an attack operation in the valley of the Neretva river, under the name of Cagalj. Namely, the case involves the operation of the Croatian Army, in order to take the southern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thoroughly prepared by General Bobetko in order to expel the Greater Serbia aggressor from the left bank of the Neretva and to take Stolac and Mostar.[53] Janko Bobetko believed that unless the left bank of the Neretva is ruled, with all the dominant elevated points, it was not possible to conduct operations at more depth towards Dubrovnik, “because there was a danger that they would even let us to south, but that they also cut off our retreat in the broader area of Gabela and Metkovic”.[54]

In the period from late April through mid-July 1992, General Bobetko issued numerous orders regulating all the organizational issues, duties, for both individuals and sectors, “in preparation of the Herzegovina territory for the forthcoming operations, pertaining to expulsion of the Chetniks and the Yugo-army from the valley of Neretva, taking of the city of Mostar, which conditioned further extension of the offensive activity on the Dubrovnik frontline”. These measures were “the precondition for preparation of the future operations, without which, we would obviously have no prospect to go into a rather risky operation, the ultimate part of which is the taking of Mostar”.[55]

In the period of June 7-17, 1992, the Croatian Army was carrying out offensive combat activities “on the broader territory of Mostar”. In the operation Cagalj (the beginning of the attack was determined for June 7, 1992, at 4 in the morning), the Croatian Army pulled out on the line of Blagaj-Ortijes-Mostar Airport, conquered this line and the Airport, merged with the forces of the 4th Brigade and the Mostar Croatian Defence Council, and rules all the dominant positions for this region of Herzegovina. In this way, operation Cagalj was ended — at the time, the Croatian Army, with the majority of the 4th Brigade and the forces of the Croatian Defence Council, in cooperation with the Mostar Battalion (of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina), which on that occasion grew into a brigade, whole conquered the east bank of the Neretva river, the city of Mostar and the broader area of Bijelo Polje, and pushed back the JNA units commanded by General Momcilo Perisic from Mostar from the left and right banks of the Neretva river. After that, the Greater Serbia aggressor began withdrawing its forces and arms from that part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[56]

Bobetko’s pushing back of the Greater Serbia aggressor’s units from that area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in spite of the existing disagreements, such as the borders in and south of Mostar (river Neretva and the border of the Province of Croatia),[57] was in concordance with the aggressive policy and practice of Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman, and their collaborationists, on conquering and division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Operation Cagalj, in the spirit of the negotiations on the division of the territory (in Karadjordjevo and Gratz), the JNA withdrew.[58] The territorial divisions here were implemented on the field. At this, the units of the Greater Serbia aggressor withdrew from Mostar and Stolac, and those areas were taken by the Croatian Army. The withdrawal of the JNA from the Neretva valley was accompanied by the withdrawal of the Croatian Army from Bosnian Posavina (except for the Orasje pocket).[59]

With Operation Cagalj, according to Bobetko, the Croatian Army had definitely and for good defended and preserved the Croatian people in Herzegovina, and created “favourable conditions for the creation of an army…” The very operation created some “very favourable operational conditions for the final operation on the Southern Frontline, with the basic goal to push out the Montenegrin aggressor and to break out to Prevlaka, meaning the unblocking of Dubrovnik and retrieval of the overall territory…”[60] In that kind of a situation, the Croatian Army ruled “Mostar, Bugojno, Travnik, Jajce, Konjic, and other smaller and larger parts”.[61]

According to General Bobetko, the Croatian Army took part in “the defence and cleansing of its territory from the Chetniks” (The Croatian Army and the Croatian people in Herzegovina, and the HVO”). According to him, the Croatian Army was defending “the Croatian people against, clearly, the common enemy”.[62]

After the completion of the Operation, Bobetko warned Mate Boban and “the other responsible people in Herzegovina that they should be quick in forming the government in Mostar, in leaving Grude and proceeding to form the army, because further development of events could turn in some different directions, too…”[63]

On June 14, 1992, contrary to international law and against the will of the state leadership of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, General Bobetko conducted the mobilization of its population into military (collaborationist) formations of the neighbouring country. “Based on the need that had arisen for proving the membership of the HVO units”, he issued the Order for issuance of military accreditations for the members of the Croatian Defence Council. For all the members of the Croatian Defence Council units of the Croatian Community of Herzeg- Bosnia, accreditations were due to be issued no later by June 30, 1992.[64]

On June 15 and 16, General Bobetko issued the order “for active defence” and “for support to the forces in the activity on Stolac” to the 4th Brigade (4th Battalion) of the Croatian National Guard, to the 156th Brigade and the Tactical Group — 2 (TG -2), and part of the forces of the Croatian Defence Council.[65]

On the territory of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, General Bobetko was an absolute commander, on which there are numerous documents existing. Among them we shall point out, for instance, his command (Class: 8/92-01/150, no. 1080-01-01-92-1), dated June 18, 1992, sent by him to the officers Ivan Andabak and Jasmin Jaganjac. After taking of the east bank of the Neretva river and the city of Mostar, “in order to settle the combat order on the reached lines, full control of the military facilities and the recording of the war prize”, he ordered to the aforementioned officers:

- that the command of the southeast Herzegovina (Operational Group JIH Medjugorje) from Medjugorje should be relocated to Mostar;

- that on the reached lines they should arrange the combat order and proceed with engineering arrangements;

- that the areas of responsibility should be divided and that each unit should be made responsible for the assigned area;

- that they should transfer a part of the artillery immediately to the broader area of Stolac, and coordinate the fire activity with the units of the Stolac Croatian Defence Council;

- that they should direct the offensive military action towards Bijelo Polje until “it is finally liberated and the communication across Mt. Velez is cut off”, that is, until the taking of Bijelo Polje and the broader area;

- that they should secure the conquered facilities with guards, determine their commanders, make the inventory lists, and prevent stealing of property;

- that they should make the list of the seized equipment, particularly the artillery, tanks, motor vehicles and ammunition of all sorts;

- that they should proceed with de-mining of the facilities and major communications, using fully trained teams;

- that they should proceed with rehabilitation of the battleground “bury the killed enemy soldiers at certain location and make the records to that effect”);

- that they should prevent departing of civilians to the left bank of the Neretva in the broader area of Mostar (“Use the authorities in Mostar in order to prevent the return of the refugees until the full level of security for citizenry”);

- that they should prevent (using the military and civil police) breaking into apartments, stealing of property or any violent behaviour;

- that they should transfer the detained “enemy ‘officers’” from Mostar into Ploce (those in charge of exercising this command were Brigadier Ivan Andabak and Major Jasmin Jaganjac);

- that “the war headquarters is determining the priority of the tasks to be conducted by the civilian bodies”;

- that they should conduct mobilization of all the bodies and civilian services and introduce war obligation for rehabilitation of the situation in Mostar.[66]

General Bobetko was also issuing orders to the subordinated units of the Croatian Defence Council for bringing in of the detainees,[67] on organization of protection of the economic facilities in Mostar,[68] sending of tank crews to Mostar,[69] and the like.

In the area of the Kupres Plateau, in the first half of April 1992, the Republic of Croatia engaged four brigades of the Croatian Army:

- 1st Brigade,

- 106th (Osijek) Brigade;

- 109th (Vukovar) Brigade;

- 126th (Sinj) Brigade (in part).[70]

Even in the Bosnian Posavina, in the spring and summer of 1992, there were certain units of the Croatian Army deployed. In that part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, those units acted within the Operational Group of East Herzegovina, whose seat was in Slavonski Brod. The commander of that operational group was Colonel Vinko Stefanek. In the documents available (“Military Secret: strictly confidential”) of the Command of the Croatian Army — Operational Group of East Posavina, in May and June 1992, he also appeared as the commander of the Croatian Defence Council.[71]

Upon proclamation of the Boban-Karadzic agreement, on May 6, 1992, “on the cessation of war between the Serbs and the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, contrary to Tudjman’s agreements with Milosevic and Karadzic about the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the leadership of the 108th Slavonski Brod Brigade passed the decision on the “liberation of the Bosnian Posavina”. In that process, “they very quickly expanded the liberated territory to include Odzak, and 16 km into the depth”, and in doing so they destroyed 32 “enemy tanks”.[72]

In May 1992, the following units of the Croatian Army were active in Bosnian Posavina

- 108th Brigade of the ZNG;

- 131st Brigade;

- 139th Brigade;

- 157th Brigade;

- Tactical Group 123 (TG-123);

- 2nd Motorized Artillery Division of the Osijek Operational Zone.[73]

On May 21, 1992, Colonel Vinko Stefanek issued the Command on the Establishment of the IZM — East, of the artillery units in Odzak. In this order, he determined the tasks of that forefront command place,[74] the time of establishment,[75] the holder of implementation,[76] the associates in implementation,[77] the logistical support[78] and deployment of the artillery units.[79] In addition to that, in this order, Colonel Vinko Stefanek also identified the task of the artillery of the 139th Brigade of the Croatian Army,[80] indicated upon the need to respect and investing of maximum efforts and material and technical resources available for implementation of that order,[81] determined the time of beginning and end of execution of that order,[82] as well as the time of reporting (in writing) to the Command of the Operational Group on the “degree of completeness” and on the “things executed”.[83]

In May 1992, in the capacity of the commander of the Croatian Army too — of the Operational Group of East Posavina and the commander of the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina, Colonel Vinko Stefanek, a high-ranking officer of the Croatian Army, was also issuing orders to all the brigades of the Croatian Defence Council in Bosnian Posavina. On May 16, 1992, “in relation to the development of the situation on the warfield of BiH, and the best quality commanding over the units and their use”, he issued the order “to responsibly proceed towards the end of the establishment of the brigade commands and all of their parts, arms, and services”, and in doing so, also determining the “end date for supply of the report on the establishment of units, command place and listing of the material and technical resources in the units” (“by May 19, 1992, at 12:00 hours”).[84]

The command of the Operational Group of East Posavina, Colonel Vinko Stefanek, on May 20, 1992, issued the order to all “the members of the OG”, that is, all the brigades of the Croatian Defence Council in Bosnian Posavina, for determining the persons (two each) for training in Zagreb on the telecommunications systems, “for the needs of maintaining the communications on the territory of the OG”.[85] The next day, “for the needs of the best quality cooperation possible with the Operational Group”, Colonel Vinko Stefanek issued an order to all the Croatian Defence Council brigades in the Bosnian Posavina for appointment of the couriers to receive and deliver mail in the Operational Group.[86]

All the units of the Croatian Defence Council in Bosnian Posavina were subordinated in May and June 1992 to the Croatian Army, that is, to the Operational Group of East Posavina in Slavonski Brod, commanded by Colonel Vinko Stefanek. On May 24, 1992, he issued the order to the commanders of the brigades of the Croatian Army (108th, 123rd, 139th, and 131st Brigades, and 157th Tactical Group) and commanders of all the brigades of the Croatian Defence Council in Bosnian Posavina (from 101st to 109th), that on May 26, 1992, on the premises of the Operational Group of East Posavina, in Slavonski Brod (at 10:00 hours) they should submit the report (“for the month of May”) “on the following issues”:

“1. Assessment of the status of directing and commanding in the units.

2. Assessment of the status of the operational and tactical position of the brigade, in the areas of responsibility, and strength and intentions of the enemy on the Sava bridgehead; problems and proposals.

3. Staffing and material and technical resources status.

4. Show the surplus of the MTS after dissolution of a part of the units.

5. The number of admitted and deployed volunteers.

6. The assessment of the combat moral and security situation, and work on establishment of the lists of able men in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and the military police.

7. Report on return of the population on the PZT [temporarily occupied territory — note by the author]”.[87]

On May 25, 1992, in the capacity of the commander of the Croatian Defence Council of Bosnian Posavina, Colonel Vinko Stefanek issued the order for attack to the 107th Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council of Gradacac, in which he pointed out the forces, goals, and the status of the Greater Serbia aggressor and its collaborationists,[88] then the goals of his, that is, Croatian forces (“our forces”),[89] as well as the “neighbours”,[90] and the “preparedness for attack”,[91] the tasks for the units,[92] and the like.[93]

On June 13, 1992, commander of the Main Headquarters of Bosnian Posavina, Colonel Vinko Stefanek sent a letter to all the Brigades of the Croatian Defence Council of Bosnian Posavina (101st HVO Brigade Bosanski Brod; 102nd HVO Brigade Odzak; 103rd HVO Brigade Derventa, 104th HVO Brigade Bosanski Samac; 105th HVO Brigade Modrica; 106th HVO Brigade Orasje; 107th HVO Brigade Gradacac, and 108th HVO Brigade Brcko), informing them that on June 14, 1992 (at 17:00 hours), at the Command of the Operational Group in Slavonski Brod, a meeting shall be held that “requires mandatory presence of the commander of the brigade and the HVO representative for the municipality of the related brigade”.[94]

In mid-July, 1992, the 116th Brigade of the Croatian Army (from Metkovic) was in Stolac, as well as certain HOS forces. On June 13, 1992, a tank unit arrived to the Dubrave Plateau (tanks T-55), in the composition of the 1st Brigade of the Croatian Army from Zagreb, under the name of Tigers.[95]

In the attack against Novi Travnik on June 1992, in addition to the HVO and HOS units, parts of the 113th (Split) brigade took part too, in collaboration with the 123rd (Varazdin) Brigade.[96]

On the territory of Bosnian Posavina, in mid- and late 1992, there were many units of the Croatian Army engaged, which, in cooperation with the defenders of these areas, Croats and Bosniaks, made efforts to stop the Serb offensive and prevent the breakthrough of the corridor, that is, establishment of the communication Knin-Banja Luka-Bijeljina- Belgrade. These were:

- 105th (Bjelovar) Brigade;
- 106th (Osijek) Brigade;
- 108th (Slavonski Brod) Brigade;
- 109th (Vukovar) Brigade;
- 111th Brigade;
- 127th (Virovitica) Brigade;
- 3A Brigade (1st Battalion of the 3rd Brigade of the ZNG),
- Military Police from the composition of the 68th Battalion of the Osijek Military Police;
- Battalion Korace and other smaller combat groups from Pozega and Osijek.[97]

In mid-July 1992, pursuant to the Karadjordjevo agreement and concretization of such aggressive policy by the Serb and Croatian collaborationists in Graz in late April 1992 (about division of two constitutive units in the area of Kupres and in Bosnian Posavina), and divisions in the field, the units of the Croatian Army in North Bosnia
— in and to the south of Mostar (in June 1992), “were dissipating”.[98]
Then the Croatian Army started withdrawing from Bosnian Posavina. Military conscripts “both Croats and Muslims” “were abandoning arms” and “together with the other refugees were fleeing into the depth of the territory of Croatia, and at no price shall be returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina”.[99]

In the second half of August 1992, the situation in Bosnian Posavina was deteriorating, particularly at the Derventa frontline, where the situation was critical. This was brought about by the sudden abandoning of the territory, dissipation of units and fall of the territories largely without combat, particularly abandoning of positions by the 108th Brigade of the Croatian Army, before a replacement arrived for it. Due to this, the
101st Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council from Bosanski Brod “suffered huge losses, dozens of killed and over one hundred of injured members”.[100]

The 108th Brigade of the Croatian Army, “the strongest, best equipped and rested”, as soon as it was introduced into the frontline, in the night of October 5/6th, withdrew from the position across Sava into Bosanski Brod “under very suspicious circumstances”, without the knowledge of the Command of the Slavonian frontline and the Operational Group of East Posavina. In such a situation, positions were also abandoned by two brigades of the Croatian Defence Council (101st and 103rd).[101]

The units of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council were abandoning the frontline in Bosnian Posavina without combat.[102]

The official commands were “put in an impossible situation”, particularly because of the double commanding. “Some emissaries were coming from Zagreb”, certain persons from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, to see lower commands, commanding them contrary to the commands by General Stipetic, commander of the Slavonian frontline, to withdraw from that area, because they will be overrun by tanks. Due to “serious violation of subordination (double commanding), there was a major loss of territories and even worse loss of human lives”.[103]

The 55th Light Artillery Division of the Anti-Aircraft Defence from Sisak active on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. In early October 1992, it was stationed in the area of Tomislavgrad. The commander of the Division in Sisak was Captain Josip Sikic, and the commander of the unit in Tomislavgrad was Marijan Maric.[104]

Two brigades of the Croatian Army too participated in the attack against Novi Travnik (on October 19, 1992): 114th Brigade (part) from Sibenik, and 123rd Brigade from Varazdin.[105]

After the taking of several facilities in the city (in the night of October 21/22), a fierce artillery attack on Prozor was launched on October 23, 1992,[106] by the Croatian Army, together with the forces of the Croatian Defence Council,[107] with (parts of) 114th Sibenik and 113th Split brigades, and with the support by the special units of Giants and Tigers, which were under the command of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army.[108] It was then that the units of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council took the city and committed numerous crimes against the Bosniaks.[109]

The Battalion Frankopan of the Croatian Army too part as well in the aggressive attack against Gornji Vakuf in October 1992.[110]

The involvement of the Croatian Army against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 was also known to the United Nations. In Resolution 752 dated May 15, 1992, the Security Council demanded that “all forms of interference coming from outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, including the elements of the Croatian Army, “should immediately be suspended and that the neighbours of Bosnia and Herzegovina should take an urgent action to terminate such interference and to honour the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.[111] In Resolution 47/121 dated December 18, 1992, the General Assembly demanded that, pursuant to the aforementioned Resolution of the Security Council, “all the parts of the Croatian Army…” in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina “should withdraw immediately…”[112] However, this withdrawal never happened.

b) Overt Aggression (January 1993 — March 1994)

During 1993 and1994, the Republic of Croatia launched a number of offensives against Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first one began in January 1993, when the units of the Croatian Army tried to penetrate in the source basin of the Vrbas river, in order to merge with the units of the Central Bosnia Operational Zone. Then two battalions of the 114th Brigade of the Croatian Army, Scorpios from Trogir and Alkari from Sinj again attacked on Gornji Vakuf. 113th Brigade of the Croatian Army was also involved in the attack on this city, as well as Battalion Frankopan and the special units Giants and Tigers, and Wolves from Split.[113]

Numerous units of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council suffered defeats at Gornji Vakuf. In January and February 1993, Colonel Zeljko Siljeg commanded (over the forces of the Croatian Defence Council) in the attack on Gornji Vakuf, and cooperated with the HVO forces in Central Bosnia.[114]

On March 12, 1993, the unit for special purposes Ludvig Pavlovic was “on the field in Herzegovina”.[115] In late March 1993, a similar unit arrived in Vitez — Holy Spirit from Virovitica.[116] In early April 1993, the units of the Croatian Army from Split and Imotski rushed into Stolac and the broader surroundings.[117] In mid- and late April 1993, in addition to the Croatian Defence Council, the Croatian Army too participated in the attack on a number of villages of the Prozor Municipality (Toscanica, Parcani, Paros, and the like).[118] The Croatian Army too took part in the attack on Sovici and Doljani, in mid-April 1993.[119]

In April and May 1993, 113th and 114th Brigades of the Croatian Army took part in the combats around Jablanica, reinforced with the special units Tigers and Giants. In the first half of May 1993, Split Brigade and Neretva Brigade also participated in the large offensive in the broader area of Mostar, as well as some special units of the Croatian Army from Dubrovnik. In the counterattack of the Croatian Defence Council on the locality of Pijesci-Bivolje Brdo-Blagaj against the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, some 2,400 soldiers took part, of which some 2,000 were members of the Croatian Army (some 750 members of the Slavonia Brigade, 250 members of the 1st Brigade Tigers, and some 1,000 soldiers from Metkovic). In late June 1993, parts of 163rd Brigade of the Croatian Army rushed into Bosnia, too.[120]

In the aggression of the Republic of Croatia against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first half of 1993, according to the data of the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the following units of the Croatian Army took part, too:

- 113th (Split) Brigade;
- 114th (Sibenik) Brigade;
- 123rd (Varazdin) Brigade;
- Elements of a brigade from Metkovic (in the areas of Buna, Dubrave, and Stolac);
- A tank unit (in the broader area of Mt. Cvrsnica).[121]

In the spring of 1993, “transferring the activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the south, along the Neretva valley, for several months, the Croatian Army was waging some fierce battles with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and unsuccessfully too…”. In that offensive against the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council were in a very difficult position. At the time, in general, the Croatian Defence Council “was surviving a crisis in operations against the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in almost all the areas where they were in contact”. Due to this, “there was a danger to have this crisis ended with a scattered withdrawal to the south along the Neretva valley and into West Herzegovina, and to lose the enclaves in Central Bosnia. And then, panic was going on in Zagreb around President Tudjman and the solution was being sought in negotiations and arrangements…”[122]

The participation of units of the Croatian Army in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was thoroughly evidenced by the International Court for Criminal Prosecution of the Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of the International Humanitarian Law Committed on the Territory of Former Yugoslavia from January 1, 1991 in the Hague (hereinafter referred to as: the Hague Tribunal) in the process against Tihomir Blaskic. Thus, among other things, “a witness said that he had heard from a high-ranking official of the Croatian Government that in 1993, the HV soldiers had been sent to BiH to fight against the Muslim forces. Another witness spoke about the HV soldiers dismissed from duty, because they did not want to go to Bosnia, and about other soldiers who had to replace the HV emblems with the HVO emblem while they were in Bosnia. Admiral Domazet, defence witness, confirmed that in April 1993, in Bosnia there was the staff of the Croatian Army, to which he himself belonged while he was the ‘head of administration’ of the Intelligence Service of the HV. … The presence of the HV in BiH was confirmed by one more witness, who spoke about the character of the HV intervention, and one more, who believed that the presence of the members of the Croatian Army in Bosnia between 1992 and 1994 was not in accordance with the law, because the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia had never passed any such decisions. Other pieces of evidence also indicate upon the general presence of the HV in Bosnia”.[123]

The Hague Tribunal also located and specifically identified the places in which the presence of the Croatian Army was observed. Thus, the Croatian Army was present in the areas of Livno and Tomislavgrad; in October 1992, while he was on the post of the deputy minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia, general Praljak “was seen in Mostar”; the units of the Croatian Army were also present in the area of Capljina, even in the surroundings of Mostar, and in the areas of Prozor and Gornji Vakuf; in July 1993, the Croatian Defence Council in Mostar received the assistance from a “large number” of soldiers of the Croatian Army. “The significant presence” of the Croatian Army in Bosnia was obvious in Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Jablanica, and other places. During the summer of 1993, a helicopter from Croatia often landed at the quarry in the area of the Lasva valley (Vitez Municipality), which was located some 2 km to the south from the base of the British Battalion of the UNPROFOR, in order to keep direct communication from Croatia, in particular with the Croatian Defence Council in Central Bosnia.[124]

The involvement of the Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina in mid-1993 was also confirmed on August 2, 1993 by Cedric Thornberry, chief of the UNPROFOR for civilian affairs. After his return from Central Bosnia, at the time, at a press conference, he claimed that the Croatian Army is present in Bosnia.[125]

In July 1993, on the occasion of attack on Bugojno, the special unit of “Pumas” from Varazdin tried to unblock the besieged units of the Croatian Defence Council. In the repeated offensive on Gornji Vakuf, in July 1993, the following units (in whole or in part) of the Croatian Army took part:

- 3rd Brigade of the ZNG (from Osijek);
- 5th Guardian Brigade (from Zagreb);
- 109th Brigade (from Vukovar);
- 113th Brigade (from Split);
- 114th Brigade (from Sibenik);
- 123rd Brigade (parts) from Varazdin;
- Brigade (parts), from Vinkovci;
- Battalion Matija Vlacic, a special purpose unit.[126]

In late July and early August 1993, new forces of the Croatian Army arrived in Herzegovina: some 750 members of the 1st Guardian Brigade Tigers in Citluk, and a certain number also in Capljina.[127]

In August 1993, a strong infantry and artillery unit of the Croatian Army from Vinkovci was stationed in the village of Trnovaca near Gornji Vakuf, from where it was constantly attacking the city and the surroundings.[128]

In the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993, among others, the following units (in whole or in part) of the Croatian Army took part:

- 1st Brigade;
- 2nd Brigade (from Sisak);
- 3rd Brigade (parts), from Osijek;
- 4th Brigade;
- 5th Brigade;
- 7th Brigade (parts) from Varazdin;
- 60th Autonomous Battalion Ludvig Pavlovic.[129]

In that year, “thousands and thousands of HV soldiers” took part in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, among which “hundreds of HV officers” and “some dozen generals”, and in doing this, “HVO commanders were transposed into HV and vice versa”.[130]

In mid-1993, Franjo Tudjman assigned the task to the Defence Minister (Gojko Susak) and Chief of Staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army (General Bobetko) about assistance and involvement of the Republic of Croatia against Bosnia and Herzegovina. He did this because, according to him, it is in Herzeg-Bosnia that “the issue of the future borders of the Croatian state” is being resolved. At the same time, he indicated that “it is very important then to defend those positions held by the HVO over there”. According to him, these were: Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca, and Mostar, however, “the problem of Gornji Vakuf needed to be resolved as soon as possible”.[131]

To his highest-ranking officers, including Josip Lucic, Franjo Tudjman issued the order to undertake everything possible in relation to engagement of manpower in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In relation to this, Lucic “made the talks at the level of the Zagreb Operational Zone, at the level of the Osijek Military District, in the area of Austria, and at the Headquarters” To all the people whom he knew, “who had some tangible link to Herzegovina, by their origin or the like”. To this goal, “volunteer formations were organized from the predominantly lower commanding structures, that is, those that had gone down there”, that is, to Bosnia and Herzegovina.[132]

On a number of occasions, Josip Lucic prepared “volunteers”, “upon various bases for this space”. Among them, in addition to others, were Andabak, Milicevic, Kozul, and the like, and 90 members of the 1st Brigade that Lucic knew. All of them were sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina and in October 1993 “they are still there; they have been down there for months…” Those “volunteers”, participating in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other forms of crime, “warred for a long time, for two years”. They were mainly Croats, originating from the Republic of Croatia.[133]

The whole 5th Brigade of the Croatian Army under the leadership of Kapular, with its composition, was gradually withdrawn from the Vinkovci frontline, and was transferred to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “These were some 2,500 people, plus all the artillery, armour and complete command, except for two or three officers”.[134]

The main task of the 5th Brigade was to take Gornji Vakuf. To this goal, the unit was launching aggressive attacks day and night (from the end of July 1993). Even on October 23, these forces were “holding the position” in the city itself, and “they had also withdrawn a part of the forces for rest”, but “there was still a reinforced battalion there, some 700 people, with all the artillery and armour in the broader area of Gornji Vakuf”.[135]

On October 13, 1993, 83 soldiers of the Croatian Army were found “on the defence line of Mostar”.[136]

In late October 1993, the members of the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the Croatian Army were also found “on the position to the south of Mostar, on the positions towards Blagaj”.[137] One group was lead by Colonel Horvat.[138]

The aggression also saw participation of the 3rd Brigade of the Croatian Army, which, just like the 5th, pulled out “from the sensitive Slavonian territory”, was attacking Mostar.[139]

Bosnia and Herzegovina was also attacked by the Legion of Honour. In the period from October 18, through November 4, 1993, this unit of the Croatian Army was executing the “combat tasks on the Uskoplje [Gornji Vakuf — note by the author] frontline”.[140]

Even in early November, 1993, Franjo Tudjman dictated the task to the political and military leadership of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia — “to link Kiseljak with Busovaca, and then to se if we can, then, hold that line”. He insisted that “it is this we need to be focused on, as well as on taking of Uskoplje, as because of the links with Novi Travnik and Vitez, it also needs to be linked to Bugojno, at any price”.[141]

The necessity of military victory and “breaking of the spine” of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Central Bosnia, in order to “round up the territory”, that is “the living space”, was particularly insisted on by Jadranko Prlic. Namely, the formation of the collaborationist Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia and the numerous crimes committed in its name, in particular the genocide against Bosniaks, in the assessment of the political leadership of this fascist creation, in particular of Jadranko Prlic, President of the “Government”, have shown that “the political idea with which the Croatian people have entered the defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina [read: the destruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina — note by the author], that those are rare who believe and think differently”. In presenting such an assessment, at the meeting of Franjo Tudjman with the political and military leadership of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, in villa Dalmacija in Split, on November 5, 1993, Jadranko Prlic only believed “that the basic problem is in execution of this idea, meaning, in which way we execute that idea in practice and through protection of space and through direct power and through all those relevant functions meaning the autochthony and sovereignty of a nation…”. Indicating upon the “results” on the plan of “defence”, and “in terms of military organization”, from the aspect of his profession (economy), he insisted to check whether the “Croatian Community/Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia” is a “cost-effective investment for Croatia, having in mind all that has been invested through arms and on other things”. He believed that in those terms they need to propose “options of more complete approximation”. Among these options, on November 5, 1993, Prlic thought that “the military victory is necessary in order to retrieve both the situation and the mood”. This option, according to him, was clear, and it “did not need expounding on at all”. Be it Mostar, be it Vakuf, or this new operation planned up there, merging of Kiseljak with Busovaca. We have to approximate to rounding up of the territory”, claimed Jadranko Prlic. At this, he believed that “without breaking of the spine of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the direction of Central Bosnia” “we can hardly expect any kind of special solution with that dominant group among the Muslims, headed by Alija Izetbegovic”.[142]

At the meeting in villa Dalmacija in Split, on November 5, 1993, with the political and military leadership of the Croatian collaborationists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Franjo Tudjman insisted on such organization “that we should at least defend that line for which we somehow managed to get an approval for at the international conference [the Owen — Stoltenberg Plan, the author], meaning Novi Travnik, Vitez, and Busovaca”. In addition, at the time too he pointed out the need, “for strategic reasons, to rule the whole area of Prozor, Uskoplje, Bugojno, Jajce, not allowing the offensive intentions of the Muslims to penetrate south of Mostar”.[143]

In the first half of November 1993, Franjo Tudjman issued the command on establishment of the Main Headquarters of the HVO. It included the following officers of the Croatian Army: generals Ante Roso and Miljenko Crnjec, then Ljubo Cesic-Rojs, assistant chief of staff of the Department for logistics, and the officials of the HDZ of Croatia: Drago Krpina, chief of staff of the Political Administration of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, and Ivan Tolj, who was also performing this duty in various periods, as well as Goran Dodig, official at the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, and Josip Juras, assistant minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia. Ante Roso was appointed commander. Posusje was determined as the command place.[144]

In the morning of November 8, 1993, in compliance with the aforementioned order, it was ordered that the newly formed Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council also be supplemented by the following units of the Croatian Army needed for security:

- units of the Military Police from the 66th Battalion of the VP of the Croatian Army for direct protection;
- units from the Communication Regiment for organization and communications security;
- the needed number of officers and soldiers for organization of the logistical base;
- uniforms with the HVO emblems, and such same registration plates for the vehicles.[145]

With arrival of the newly formed Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council and the units of the Croatian Army from Zagreb to Posusje, the then Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council in Mostar ceased to exist, with its staff who had already come from the Croatian Army to work in Posusje, including the previous commander of the Croatian Defence Council, general Milivoj Petkovic. In Posusje, Ciro Grubisic (official of the Croatian Democratic Union of the Republic of Croatia) joined Dodig and Juras (liaison officers).[146]

General Bobetko (chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army), in accordance with the aforementioned order of President Franjo Tudjman and “the historical task of the new GS of the HVO”, on November 9, 1993, in Ploce, held a meeting and assigned the tasks. It was concluded that the attack operation needs to be urgently prepared from Gornji Vakuf towards Central Bosnia, in which the Croatian Defence Council would receive reinforcement from the Croatian Army in artillery and manpower:

- 350th Commando Platoon;
- 2nd and 5th Guardian Brigade, with a tank party;
- One battalion of the 7th Guardian Brigade;
- Communications unit; and
- Helicopter squadron.[147]

This aggressive operation was personally planned by army general Janko Bobetko.[148] The operation started on November 15, 1993. It was conducted from the forefront command places in Prozor and on Mt. Makljen.[149]

In that new offensive in November 1993, the Republic of Croatia engaged 9,000 soldiers of the Croatian Army. At the time, Gornji Vakuf was attacked by the following units (in whole or in part) of the Croatian Army:

- 3rd Brigade (from Osijek);
- 5th Guardian Brigade (from Zagreb);
- 113th Brigade (from Split);
- 114th Brigade (from Sibenik);
- 7th Guardian Brigade (from Varazdin);
- 1st Guardian Brigade Tigers (from Zagreb);
- 5th Domobran Regiment (from Osijek);
- /11th/ Domobran Regiment (from Vinkovci);
- Battalion “Matija Vlacic”, special forces unit of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army,
- Soldiers from Virovitica.[150]

Due to the heroic defence offered by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the aforementioned operation failed. The aggressor forces and their collaborationist units had big losses, particularly the 5th Guardian Brigade of the Croatian Army in Gornji Vakuf.[151] The 350th Commando Platoon, planned by General Bobetko to be landed by parachuting from helicopters onto the range on the Gornji Vakuf — Travnik road, had to return to Ploce due to a snow blizzard over Mts. Vrana and Cvrsnica.[152]

In mid-November 1993, the forces of the Croatian Army and their collaborationist formations (Croatian Defence Council) were also grouped in the areas of Prozor, Glavaticevo, Bjelimici, and Kiseljak. At the time, there were between 7,000 and 8,000 soldiers of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council around Kiseljak.[153]

Immediate military participation of the Republic of Croatia in the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 was also confirmed by Slobodan Milosevic and David Owen. Namely, in the negotiations in Geneva on November 29, 1993, in the discussion with Franjo Tudjman, among other things, Slobodan Milosevic claimed that “Croatia is directly involved in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. During the negotiations in Dobanovci, on December 9, 1993 (Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, Momcilo Krajisnik, Hrvoje Sarinic, Mile Akmadzic, David Owen and Thorwald Stoltenberg), David Owen stated that the Republic of Croatia “is directly involved in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.[154]

In the first half of January 1994, the following units of the Croatian Army participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

- 175th Brigade;
- 5th Domobran Regiment;
- 6th Domobran Regiment;
- 11th Domobran Regiment;
- Special units;
- Battalion Matija Vlacic;
- Tigers (from Zagreb);
- Thunders (from Sisak), and the like.[155]

In late January 1994, the following units of the Croatian Army (in whole or in part) participated in the attack on the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

- 1st Guardian Brigade, in the broader area of Prozor;
- 3rd Brigade of ZNG, (from Osijek), in the area of Prozor-Gornji Vakuf;
- 5th Guardian Brigade (from Zagreb), in the broader area of Mostar;
- 7th Brigade (from Varazdin), in the area of Gornji Vakuf;
- 109th Brigade (from Vukovar), in the area of Prozor-Gornji Vakuf;
- 113th Brigade (from Split), in the area of Mostar and the broader area of Dreznica;
- 114th Brigade (from Sibenik), in the area of Prozor-Gornji Vakuf;
- 175th Brigade, in the area of Gornji Vakuf;
- Brigade (parts), from Vinkovci, in the area of Prozor-Gornji Vakuf;
- Brigade (parts), from Varazdin, in the area of Prozor-Gornji Vakuf;
- Battalion Black Legion — Battalion for the Special Patrolling Purpose, in the area of Prozor-Gornji Vakuf;
- Four brigades, a tank battalion (20 tanks), and two artillery divisions, in the area of Bosnian Posavina (the broader area of Orasje);
- A number of special units of the Croatian Army: Tigers, Pumas, Matija Vlacic (in the area of Mostar), and the like.[156]

In January 1994, the Republic of Croatia transferred a number of its brigades and a number of other units into Bosnia and Herzegovina.[157]

In the first half of 1994, 175th Brigade of the Croatian Army participated on the “Uskoplje-Rama frontline”.[158]

The commander of the Brigade was Frane Primorac. The head of security in the Brigade, seated in Prozor, was Miroslav Vidovic. Captain Andrija Skoko was the assistant commander for logistics.[159]

The organization, mobilization and the composition of the 175th Brigade of the Croatian Army was ordered by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, on December 14, 1993 (according to a written order by Minister Gojko Susak).[160] Pursuant to the order of the minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia, no. 512-01-93-4890, dated December 28, 1993, the Brigade was sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina (“... to the frontline…”), where from December 31, 1993, it participated in the aggression against that Republic.[161]

The brigade was funded from the state budget of the Republic of Croatia, and its members received salaries as members of the Croatian Army.[162]

Before and at the time of the 175th Brigade, there were more units of the Croatian Army at the “Uskoplje-Rama frontline”. In late January
1994, “with the arrival of our second battalion”, a number of the units of the Croatian Army and Croatian Defence Council were pulled out of that territory, and these areas were assigned to the 175th Brigade of the Croatian Army, with domicile units added to it (3 parties: Zdrimci, Dobrosin, and Kakanj).[163]

In late January and early February 1994, on the eve of signing of the Washington Agreement, according to the information of the United Nations Security Council, the Republic of Croatia had deployed units of the Croatian Army, “together with heavy military equipment, into the central and southern parts of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina” Due to this “serious hostile act against a UN member state”, the Security Council seriously condemned Croatia.[164]

In late January and early February 1994, the international representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina were receiving reports that “the units of the Croatian Army were arriving to Bosnia and Herzegovina to assist the HVO”. In January and February 1994, on a number of occasions, general Martin Garrod himself saw military convoys and many members of the Croatian Army in movement towards Prozor and Gornji Vakuf. In the capacity of witness of the prosecution in the Case Kordic and Cerkez, on February 1, 2000, before the Hague Tribunal, among other things, he stated: “There were a lot of denials, but we also had many sightings, and I personally saw many HV convoys moving along the mountain road from Tomislavgrad to Prozor. They were mainly without registration plates, but the HV emblems were clearly visible… Many of them (vehicles) were transporters, some transported soldiers, and some were towing mortars or artillery”.[165]

The participation of the Croatian Army in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was also confirmed at the joint session of the Presidential Council of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg- Bosnia, Presidency of the HDZ of BiH, and the Executive Council of the HDZ of BiH, held on March 6, 1994, in Mostar, discussing one point of the agenda “Report on the Negotiations in Washington”. Ivan Milas stated “that it is needed to strengthen the negotiation team to the maximum, to strengthen the defence forces”, because, according to him, Croatia “was tasked to specify these areas and prevent them from being Islamized”, and he pointed out that “the main interest is to suspend the war and Croatia is forced to withdraw its regular troops from this territory”.[166]

Because of involvement of the Croatian Army in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, General Anton Tus objected to President Franjo Tudjman. Franjo responded to him by saying “that the matter does not involve military but political issues, and that the world does not want an Islamic state in the heart of Europe!?”[167]

The Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina again stopped the aggressive offensive of the Croatian Army. At the time when the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council were suffering military defeats in Bosnia and Herzegovina as inflicted by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly “at the moment when the HVO was on the verge of defeat”, the Peace Agreement between the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence Council in Zagreb (February 23, 1994), and the Agreement in Split (March 12, 1994), were signed, which was followed by the Washington Agreement (March 18, 1994).[168]

“Thousands and thousands of the HV soldiers” and “hundreds of HV officers” took part in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[169] Judging by the number of units, and thousands and thousands of soldiers and hundreds of officers of the Croatian Army, participating in the armed attacks against Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is obvious that the Croatian Army was rather numerous in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is possible that the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia were even more numerous than those of the Croatian Defence Council. However, the exact number of the members of the Croatian Army in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is hard to establish, unlike that of its collaborationist formations - Croatian Defence Council, which had between 45,000 and 52,000 soldiers.[170] Only in the areas of Mostar, Prozor, and Gornji Vakuf, in January 1994, there were 12 brigades of the regular Croatian Army active, with some 15,000 to 18,000 soldiers. In the area of Posavina, the aforementioned military units at the time had between 10,000 and 12,000 soldiers. Thus, between 25,000 and 30,000 members of the Croatian Army took part in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in January 1994.[171]

The Republic of Croatia planned, prepared and directed all of its aggressive operations against Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army and the Ministry of Defence in Zagreb, from where orders arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where — in addition to the Croatian Army — they were only executed by the local commands of the Croatian Defence Council. Through Grude, the Croatian Defence Council forwarded the reports on all the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Zagreb, from where it then received instructions as to what it needs to undertake, so that in the hierarchy sense the Croatian Defence Council only functioned as an integral part of the Croatian Army.[172]

Minister Susak stayed at the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council in Posusje regularly for three days in the week (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) and held meetings. Among others, these meetings were attended by the officials of the Croatian Democratic Union of the Republic of Croatia, and the Parliamentary representatives Ivic Pasalic and Ivan Milas, then the chief of intelligence services Miroslav Tudjman, Ljubo Cesic-Rojs, and Mate Boban, as the President of the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Defence Council and the collaborationist Croatian Community/Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia.[173]

President Franjo Tudjman, Minister Gojko Susak, and the “select top of the HDZ, as the ruling party in Croatia, organized and conducted the war against the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.[174]

From the Ministries of Defence and the Main Headquarters and “down the line of hierarchy”, the Croatian Army was giving “everything for Herzegovina, from responsible people, from generals, to the officers there”. Although, according to Tudjman, such an approach was not alright, because “then it only involves a lack of understanding that this is of strategic importance not only for the present but also to the future of the Croatian state…” Regardless of Croatia, according to Tudjman, being “in such a delicate situation that we do not get directly involved”, he claimed that “those people over there know that we are present there, so they are not nagging at us so much for that as much as they are because of what happened in the Gospic operation, in destruction of those Serb villages over there…”.[175]

The Croatian Army was also present in the area of the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia, subsequently the Military District of Vitez, commanded by Tihomir Blaskic, and particularly in the valley of Lasva. In the first half of June 1992, only one unit of the Croatian Army (a detachment) was found in the area of Novi Travnik, commanded by Andrija Kolobaric.[176] From June 25, 1992, Zoran Pilicic, member of the 153rd “R” Brigade of the Croatian Army was found at the Command of the Operational zone of Central Bosnia, where he was deployed into the Croatian Defence Council. In May 1993, he was one of aides to the commander of the “Operational Zone of Central Bosnia”. His status (granting of rank and other rights and obligations), as well as those of the other members of the Croatian Army who participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was resolved in the Croatian Army.[177]

The unit of the 3rd Battalion of Kresevo (HVO Brigade Ban Jelacic, Kiseljak) was staffed from the Republic of Croatia.[178]

The presence of the Croatian Army on the territory of Central Bosnia too was evidenced by the Hague Tribunal. The officers of the Croatian Army, specifically Colonel Vidosevic, from the Split Brigade, accompanied by two more officers of the Croatian Army, were often seen at the Vitez Hotel. In April 1993, the representatives of the Croatian Army, Dragan Curcic and Bozo Curcija, were also seen in Vitez. Soldiers with emblems stating HV were accommodated in a school in Dubravica (near the Vitez Hotel). The soldiers of the Croatian Army were also present in Busovaca during gathering of the Croatian Defence Council that occurred between May 1992 and January 1993, and at the Vitez Health Centre in January 1993. In the same period, soldiers of the Croatian Army arrived in the area of Kiseljak, too. Members of the Croatian Army units also took part in the attack on the Bosniak villages in the areas of Vitez and Busovaca.[179]

In early June 1992, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia redeployed a number of its officers and soldiers to the Southern Frontline in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia). On June 5, 1992, defence minister of the Republic of Croatia Gojko Susak issued the order, class: confidential, 8/92-01/17, no. 5120-13-92-78, “pursuant to point IV, paragraph 2, of the Decision of the President of the Republic of Croatia on the organization and number of the members of the Croatian National Guard”, “assigning and deploying the following members of the Croatian Army for the execution of the temporary task on the Southern Frontline, to the Southern Frontline” (101st Brigade of the Croatian National Guard):

1. Miro Andric, Colonel — commander of the 1st infantry battalion;
2. Mladen Labaz, Captain — head of communications;
3. Nenad Sagud, soldier — communications officer;
4. Ivan Zlatic, soldier — technical services officer at the 1st Infantry Battalion;
5. Nikola Raguz, soldier — administration and legal officer;
6. Ante Marusic, soldier — medical technician;
7. Andrija Kacic, captain — aide to the commander for logistics;
8. Hasim Hajric, soldier — cook;
9. Mirsad Sivac, soldier — commander of the engineering squad;
10. Blaz Andric, soldier — driver — security;
11. Branko Kozul, soldier — driver — security;
12. Josip Trubelja, soldier — communications officer;
13. Asim Mahmutovic, Captain — commander of the patrolling platoon.[180]

From then on, throughout the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the aforementioned officers and soldiers from the 101st Brigade of the Croatian Army participated in the units of the Croatian Defence Council, in order to mask the participation of the Republic of Croatia in the crimes. In the first half of 1993, they were active in Herzegovina[181] and in Central Bosnia.[182]

In March 1993, Colonel Miro Andric, a member of the Croatian Army, was deputy commander of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council.[183]

Periodically, the Croatian Army also sent commando units into Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly in such areas where the Croatian Defence Council was trying to push through the defence lines of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to that, the units of the Croatian Army were also sent in smaller groups, in order to avoid being recorded by the United Nations observers. These units also placed the emblems of the Croatian Defence Council on their clothing in order to thus conceal their participation in the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina.[184]

In the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to support the land forces, the Croatian Army also used the aviation, helicopters, as well as chemical and other weapons. Thus, for instance, on July 24,
1993, two piston engine aircrafts of the Croatian Army, with 5 bombs, fired on the village of Dracevica (they had taken off from the Mostarsko Blato airport). On August 2, 1993, piston engine aircraft bombed Rastani near Mostar, and then on August 5, and 24, they bombed Mostar (on August 5, using improvised bombs, and on August 24, using bombs filled with irritant gases). On September 7, airplanes with six bombs bombed Mostar (they had taken off from the Mostarsko Blato airport), and then repeated the attack in the night between September 17 and 18.[185]

In December 1993 and in January 1994, from the airport at Divulje (Split), the aviation of the Croatian Army on a number of occasions fired at the defence positions of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the areas populated by civilians.[186]

In April 1993, on Mt. Boksevica near Jablanica, and on November 15, 1993, on Mt. Vranica near Prozor, the Croatian Army carried out helicopter parachute attacks (both times unsuccessfully).[187]

On January 14, 1994, two attacks were carried out on the village of Poculica, accompanied by Croatian airplanes, on the relation of Busovaca- Nova Bila-Novi Travnik, with three bombs. On the same day, the Bratstvo factory was attacked with one bomb and an “air-land” missile. On January 30, 1994, one airplane and two helicopters of the Croatian Army shot the village of Kute with 16 “air-land” missiles. The next day, one airplane fired at the village of Laze.[188]

Obviously, the aforementioned and other data indicate upon direct participation of the Republic of Croatia in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Namely, the helicopters and airplanes were the property of the Republic of Croatia, and their activity was reflected in flyovers, ejection of parachutes with material and technical resources, and in attacks, such as, for instance, the case was on January
14, 1994. We also need to point out that for their activities they were using the protection of the NATO airplanes, for instance, in the area of Bucici and Mosun (January 14, 1994), and thus smoothly acted from the air, thus offering support to the units of the regular Croatian Army and its collaborationist formations — the Croatian Defence Council.[189]

Several hundreds of foreign mercenaries (Germans, Swedes and Britons) also took part in the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the units of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council. The majority of the mercenaries were recruited through emigrant organizations of Hrvatski drzavotvorni pokret (Croatian State-Building Movement), and Hrvatsko revolucionarno bratstvo (Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood), supported by Croatia after the arrival of Franjo Tudjman. Among them, the one particularly standing out was the German Jürgen Schmidt, who commanded the tank units in the attacks against Prozor and Gornji Vakuf. During the attack on Mostar, in May 1993, one commando unit was lead by German Hoffman. The training of the local unit Jokers in Vitez was conducted by an Englishman and a Pole. The intervention platoon of the Croatian Defence Council in Livno was conducted by mercenary Patrich Chavier. A number of foreign nationals were also recruited from among the released personnel of the German army.[190]

During the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, military police from Rijeka and Croatian Posavina was also present in West Herzegovina, being superimposed to the local one, whereas several units of the Croatian Army were constantly held in preparedness along the Dalmatian coast, which were permanently in movement from one city into the other, in order to be closer to the frontline and be sent to execution of “tasks” quicker.[191]

A significant number of the soldiers of the Croatian Army were killed in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the attack on and against the units of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, more soldiers of the Croatian Army were killed than in the fights against the units of the JNA and the Army of Yugoslavia on the territory of Croatia. According to Mesic, coffins were regularly arriving to Croatia.[192] General Martin Spegelj claims that General Bobetko himself has admitted that “in those combats, not with the Chetniks, but wit the Army of BiH, there were 9,000 dead”. However, the generals who participated in the attack on Bosnia and Herzegovina “say that even more than 13,000 soldiers were killed”, claims Martin Spegelj. In addition to this, he also presents the information that in Slavonski Brod, Cakovec, Zagreb “and elsewhere, there are cemeteries of soldiers and officers who were killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while many of them were not even brought in at all”.[193]

Because of the armed aggression against its territory, on May 13, 1993, the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed a complaint against the Republic of Croatia, demanding that it unconditionally stops its attacks and withdraws its units from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[194]

In a letter of September 4, 1993, sent to the command of the UNPROFOR for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina describes the attack of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council on some cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina.[195] Because of the open military intervention of large scope against the sovereign and independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a UN member country, both by the number of manpower and the equipment engaged, on January 28,1994, the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina held an extraordinary session at which, among other things, it demanded for an urgent extraordinary session of the UN Security Council, in order to condemn that aggression and prompt undertaking of measures in compliance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and all the then passed relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.[196] The letter of the standing representative of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the United Nations, dated January 28, 1994, sent to the Security Council, contains the description of the military intervention carried out by the Croatian Army against Bosnia and Herzegovina.[197]

The documents of the United Nations too confirm the participation of the Croatian Army in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In resolutions 752, dated May 15, 1992, and 787, dated November 16, 1992, the Security Council too demanded that the Republic of Croatia should immediately withdraw its troops, suspend all forms of interference and respect the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[198]

In the reports dated February 1, and 17, 1994, the Secretary General informed the Security Council on direct involvement of the Croatian Army in and against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, in his report of February 1, Boutros Boutros-Ghali stated:

“For a while, the Croatian Army has been directly supporting the Croatian Defence Council,[199] supplying it with manpower, equipment and armament. Initially, this support was limited on individuals or small groups, often volunteers. However, it seems that the success of the offensives taken by the forces of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina against the Croatian Defence Council caused an increase in the number of Croatian soldiers. It is assessed that their total number in Bosnia and Herzegovina could correspond to the force of three brigades of regular Croatian Army, that is, roughly 3,000 to 5,000 people (this is an assessment, because, given the resources it has available, the UNPROFOR is not able to gather the data necessary for a more exact establishment of their number)”.[200]

There were a large number of members of the Croatian Army (officers, junior officers and soldiers from the Republic of Croatia) in the units of the Croatian Defence Council, who participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Upon the order of the Government of the Republic of Croatia (based on the orders of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia and the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army), they were sent into the “redeployment in BiH”, where they were temporarily displaced for a certain time and deployed in the units of the Croatian Defence Council. In order to take a considerable part of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia mobilized its Army (the Croatian Army), whose members also served in the Croatian Defence Council, as the soldiers of the Croatian Army.[201] All the high-ranking commanders of the Croatian Defence Council were appointed from single personnel lists of the Croatian Army, and their appointment was done by the Main Headquarters in Zagreb, and in doing so, they were sent to a foreign country (Bosnia and Herzegovina) just like they would be into any part of Croatia. The majority of the high-ranking officers of the Croatian Defence Council were members of the Croatian Army and nationals of the Republic of Croatia. High- ranking officers of the Croatian Army were appointed to all major directing and commanding positions in the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council. The commander of the Main Headquarters (until October 1992), was Milivoj Petkovic, brigadier of the Croatian Army. He was born in Vrpolje near Sibenik, and is a national of the Republic of Croatia (during 1993, he was chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council). A member of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council Ante Prkacin was born in Slavonski Brod. Commander of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council from October 1992 to November 10, 1993, was General Slobodan Praljak, head of the political department of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia. General Ante Roso was commander of the special units of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army and was born in Slavonia. In November
1993, together with the complete composition of the Main Headquarters of the HVO and its headquarters-affiliated units, he was appointed commander of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council by the head of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman. One of the commanders of the battalion Ludvig Pavlovic (Zoran Delic) was a Croatian national, living in Zadar. Also, a number of the instructors of the Croatian Defence Council for training of officers at the centres in Tomislavgrad and Grude had come from the Republic of Croatia.[202]

A number of higher-ranking officers from the 101st Brigade of the Croatian Army, “who were commanded by the Ministry of Defence of the RH to the Southern Frontline (Croatian Community of Herzeg- Bosnia)”, from the beginning of June 1992 until the beginning of May 1993, and later were also found in the units of the Croatian Defence Council. Reporting to that effect to the 101st Brigade of the Croatian Army, in the report dated May 3, 1993, Colonel Miro Andric stated their identity: Colonel Miro Andric, captain Goran Vujic, then Blaz Andric, Mirsad Sivac, and Branko Kozul.[203]

In October 1992, soldier Josip Vujina (son of Ante) from Split (Kastel Novi) was in the Croatian Defence Council of Bugojno, in the 2nd Battalion, commanded by Slavko Petricevic.[204] With his 1st Infantry Party of the 4th Infantry Battalion, Ivan Sertic went to the terrains of the Zadar hinterland (Kasic, Buterinin), and the Southern Frontline, Mostar, Gornji Vakuf, Livno.[205] Frank Zagorcic was a member of the 4th Brigade of the ZNG. Upon the order of the brigade commander, General Ivo Jelic, in the second half of 1991, several times he was transporting arms to the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia.[206] Soldier Igor (son of Bruno) Kapor, born on February 23, 1975, in Rijeka, as the citizen of the Republic of Croatia and member of the Croatian Army, took part in the attack against Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 1, 1993, in Mostar (in the Neretva valley),[207] where he was detained. In the Operational Zone of Southeast Herzegovina, there was also soldier of the Croatian Army Franjo (son of Franjo) Pakrac, born in 1969 in the village of Drenovac, Zupanja Municipality.[208] In 1992, junior officer Rudolf Duplisak was also in the Croatian Defence Council, as member of the 4th Battalion of the 159th Brigade of the Croatian Army from Zadar.[209] Tomislav Lukacevic, from Virovitica,[210] too, and Miroslav Fabulic, from Slavonska Pozega[211] Drago Sandrk, from Beli Manastir,[212] Sergej Filipovic, from Vinkovci,[213] Darko Hofer, from Osijek,[214] then Jure Brajkovic,[215] and many others participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1992, at the Municipal Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council of Kakanj, there was Tomo Juric, too, a soldier of the 108th Brigade of the ZNG from Slavonski Brod, “uniformed wit the emblems of HVO — HZ HB”.[216]

Soldier Ivan Apica, born in Sinj in 1972, from April 4 to September 28, 1992 was in the HVO Brigade Tomislavgrad in Tomislavgrad. A month afterwards, he “served” in the 9th Battalion Rafael Vitez Boban, which was an autonomous unit at the 114th Brigade of the Croatian Army.[217] Captain Denis Kapovic Denizio, lieutenant major Milivoj Zrilic, and ensign Ivo Zrilic were members of the 1st Battalion Stjepan Radic in Bugojno.[218]

In October 1993, at least six foreign national soldiers were in the units of the 3rd Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council in Mostar:

- Ante (son of Mate) Sistov, born on December 7, 1968, in Croatia;
- Zoran (son of Tadija) Kovac, born on April 29, 1967, in Croatia
- Miro (son of Kresimir) Raic, born on May 2, 1972, in Croatia
- Roland Bartetzko, from Germany
- Stjepan (son of Julijan) Grdjan, born on April 11, 1962, in Croatia,
- Sandro Alfonso de Giaoni, Italy.[219]

In November 1993, a major number of foreign citizens were found in the units of the HVO, mainly from the Republic of Croatia. Thus, there were at least four foreign nationals in the VHO Brigade of Rama (Prozor):

- Franz Elvis Richard Rosenberg, born on November 20, 1970, in Gütersloh — Germany, a German citizen, in the tank unit;
- Vinko Pavlovic (son of Simun), born on December 15, 1965, citizen of the Republic of Croatia, in the 1st Battalion;
- Goran Vucic (son of Jozo), born on August 19, 1964, in Sinj, a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, in the 3rd Battalion;
- Damir Haluzan, born on March 18, in Brezno Gornje, a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, in the unit Marinko Beljo.[220]

There were two foreign nationals in the Lasva Battalion (IZM Prozor) at the time:

- Dragoljub (son of Ljuban) Erak, born in Rostov
- Ulrich (son of Alfred) Großfeld, a citizen of the Republic of Austria.[221]

In the Brigade Hrvoje Vukcic-Hrvatinic (IZM Gracanica), there was Josip Sikic, born in 1951 in Sisak, a soldier of the Croatian Army, a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, on the position of Brigade Commander.[222]

In November 1993, the following citizens of the Republic of Croatia were in the Brigade Eugen Kvaternik (Bugojno):

- Josip (son of Franjo) Micic, born on September 9, 1958, in Imotski (Battalion commander);
- Stipo (son of Nino) Grbic, born on October 20, 1946, in Bugojno (a horse leader in the Brigade);
- Ivan (son of Luka) Ivankovic, born on October 2, 1959, in Krizevci.[223]

In early December 1993, the major of the Croatian Army, Simon Petrisic, an official of the Administration for Organization, Staffing and Mobilization of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, was on the duty in the Department for Organization, Staffing and Legal Affairs of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council.[224]

On November 2, 1993, in the brigade of the Croatian Defence Council Kralj Tomislav (Tomislavgrad), there were 31 foreign nationals (all were in a single patrolling and commando platoon, directly subordinated to the brigade commander, Colonel Zeljko Glasnovic).[225]

During 1992 and 1993, on several occasions the higher-ranking officers of the Croatian Defence Council requested from their subordinate units to supply the lists of members of the Croatian Army. On October 3, 1992, commander of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council, brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, URGENTLY requested the commanders of the operational zones: Tomislavgrad, Citluk and Vitez (“MILITARY SECRET — CONFIDENTIAL”) to supply the information for the “HV officers”.[226]

Several times in 1992 and 1993, commander of the Operational Zone of Northwest Herzegovina, Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, requested from his units the data for the officers of the Croatian Army who were in the units of the Croatian Defence Council. The order dated October 6, 1992 (“STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL, MILITARY SECRET”), supplied to the brigades and municipal headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council of the Operational Zone of Northwest Herzegovina,[227] also provided the instruction based on which a report was to be made and “the data for the HV officers” were to be supplied.[228] It is interesting to point out that the piece of data was also to be supplied in terms whether some of the officers of the Croatian Army in the units of the Croatian Defence Council “are receiving the salary from the HV”.[229]

Each officer of the Croatian Army who was deployed into the units of the Croatian Defence Council, pursuant to the aforementioned order, had to have “a command on deployment into the HVO”. On “each of the HV officers” arriving in the HVO units, the brigade and municipal headquarters commanders were obligated to supply reports and data, in compliance with the aforementioned instructions.[230]

On October 9, 1992, pursuant to the aforementioned order of Colonel Siljeg, the commander of the Brigade Eugen Kvaternik (Bugojno), Ivica Lucic, issued an order to the subordinated units on supplying of the data for officers of the Croatian Army who were found in their units, stating, among other things, the end date for submission of the requested data.[231]

During 1993, too, the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia requested data “for the HV officers in the HVO”. On April 12, “in order to obtain full records and regulate the status of the HV officers in the HVO”, brigadier Milivoje Petkovic, commander of that headquarters, issued the order no. 01-618/93, on supplying of this data.[232]

On the same day, that is, on April 12, 1993, pursuant to the aforementioned order from the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council, (“DEFENCE. MILITARY SECRET. STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL”), commander of the Operational Zone of Northwest Herzegovina and the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia (IZM Vitez), colonels Zeljko Siljeg and Tihomir Blaskic issued orders to the subordinated units to supply “the lists of all HV officers” that were deployed in their units and commands. The orders pointed out the format of listing, and stated the end date for their completion.[233]

The members of the Croatian Army who participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were obligated to wear the HVO emblems.[234] The aim of this obligation was to use this way too to conceal the direct involvement of the Croatian Army in the crimes against Bosnia and Herzegovina and the genocide against the Bosniaks. Therefore, the commanders of the Croatian Defence Council forbade the members of the Croatian Army to wear the Croatian Army emblems when in the Croatian Defence Council, but only let them wear the Croatian Defence Council emblems. On November 26, 1992, deputy commander of the Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Zenica, Zoran Covic, issued the order to all the units of the Croatian Defence Council (“Military Secret. strictly confidential”), in which, among other things, he commanded: “The HV members present on this territory, wearing the HV emblems shall be warned to remove the emblems, because this draws the RH into problems”.[235]

In the units of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council, as well as with the members of bodies of civilian power of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ustasha symbols were a mass phenomenon. Some of their units carried names after prominent Ustasha members, and in the cabinet of the “minister” of police and in other offices of this collaborationist creation hung Pavelic’s pictures.[236]

In addition to the official emblem of the Croatian Defence Council, the members of the Croatian Defence Council were also wearing other symbols associating of the Ustasha movement and Fascism, about which certain texts were published in foreign media in the second half of 1992. “In order to remove this in the future and to ensure that the HVO members wear single emblems”, deputy commander of the Headquarters of the Armed Force of Zenica, Zoran Covic, commanded in the aforementioned command:

“1. Commands of the HVO HZ HB units are obligated to ensure that the members of the units and commands only wear HVO emblems on their uniforms. Members of the HVO have to remove all other symbols.

2. Talk to the individuals wearing other emblems — symbols, indicating to them what by wearing them they are reducing the reputation of the HVO in the world.

3. The HV members who are present on this territory wearing the HV emblems to be warned to remove the emblem because by this we are drawing RH into problems.

4. Command of the Headquarters should ensure the required number of emblems, and if lacking, the members may be without emblems.

5. This Command shall come into effect immediately”.[237]

On November 27, 1992, commander of the Operational zone of Southeast Herzegovina issued the command “pertaining to carrying of various emblems, symbols on uniforms in the HVO units, not in compliance with the symbols determined in the Decree on the Armed Forces of Herzeg-Bosnia, and with their existence compromise the reputation of the HVO and HV members, which is interpreted in the world as a continuation of the Fascism”.[238]

The members of the Croatian Defence Council units were obligated “to wear only HVO emblems on their uniforms”. Pursuant to the orders of the chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the HVO, brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, dated November 24, 1992, and commander of the Operational Zone of Southeast Herzegovina, brigadier Miljenko Lasic, dated November 27, 1992, and commander of the 3rd Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council, Ivan Primorac, dated December 9, 1992, the commanders of the Croatian Defence Council were obligated to ensure “that the unit members only wear the HVO emblems on their uniforms, while all other emblems and symbols” were to be removed. The individuals wearing other emblems and symbols were “to be talked to, and indicated to that by wearing them they reduce the reputation of the HVO in the world.

Wearing of the HV emblems by individuals is associated with the accusations on direct involvement of the HV units on the territory of the HZ HB, thereby accusing both the RH and the HZ HB. The HV members (with an explanation) are to be kindly requested to wear only HVO emblems while staying on our territory”.[239]

Due to the accusations by the international community for its direct military participation in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia was making efforts to conceal the presence of its (Croatian Army) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as helicopter attacks in the Central Bosnia, and the missions of logistical security of the units of the Croatian Defence Council. Therefore, at crossing into Bosnia and Herzegovina, some generals of the Croatian Army “commanded to remove the HV emblems and put on the HVO emblems”. Pursuant to the order of the commander of the Operational Zone of Split, Mato Viduka, dated April 12, 1992, the members of the Croatian Army were obligated to remove “all the HV emblems” and to be kept as “volunteer defenders of their homeland”.[240]

According to General Janko Bobetko, the Croatian Army was removing Croatian Army emblems and putting on the Croatian Defence Council emblems. In doing so, the officers were told to introduce themselves as the members of the Croatian Defence Council and to say that they have been born in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[241]

Several times, the members of the Croatian Army who were serving in the Croatian Defence Council refused the orders to remove the Croatian Army emblems, so that the observers would not detect their presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[242] However, pursuant to the order of Ivan Primorac, commander of the 3rd Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council, dated December 9, 1992, the soldiers of the Croatian Army had to wear the Croatian Defence Council emblems.[243]

The officers of the Croatian Army who participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (in the Croatian Defence Council units) and wore the Croatian Defence Council emblems could not leave the Croatian Defence Council units without the order from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia. In “case of variation in proceeding”, “the Main Headquarters of the HVO was to be immediately informed”.[244]

“Issuance of all external documents” was forbidden for the soldiers from Croatia who were involved in the HVO.[245]

The highest-ranking officers of the Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina were also issuing orders on mobilization. Thus, as early as in spring, General Bobetko was commanding over the mobilization in the neighbouring state (Neum, Stolac). The letterhead of the majority of his documents stated Republic of Croatia, and when the orders only pertained to the units of the Croatian Defence Council, Janko Bobetko was using the letterhead of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia - HVO. There is also obvious evidence of the participation of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Army in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[246]

The planning and organization of intelligence work and coordination of the work of the Intelligence Administration at the Main Headquarters of the HVO was carried out by the commands, units and institutions of the Croatian Army.[247]

The Republic of Croatia was also appointing the officer personnel of its collaborationists (Croatian Defence Council), directed and commanded over those forces, issued orders and instructions to them, provided advice, conveyed experiences, and the like. Thus, for instance, in the spring of 1992, General Bobetko was even appointing commanders in Central Bosnia.[248 Commanders of commands, units, and institutions of the HVO, and the Ministry of Interior and the Military Police of the Croatian Community/Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia were reporting to their supreme command - Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia in Zagreb about the situation in the units, organizational and other problems.[249] Even with the proposals for promotions, the HVO commanders approached the Republic of Croatia.[250]

Even through the Croatian officers, who were redeployed from the Croatian Army into the HVO or through the Bosnian Croats who had accepted the greater Croatia project or followed the instructions of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Croatia controlled the decisions in the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia.[251]

The involvement of Croatia in the establishment of the Croatian Defence Council after April 7, 1992, when Croatia recognized the autonomy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was officially proclaimed by Franjo Tudjman, after that date constitutes interference in the interior affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which never ceased at all.[252]

President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, and his top officers were passing orders on formation of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council and on appointment of the commanders. Two days after the Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia had formally established the Croatian Defence Council (April 8, 1992), on April 10, 1992, President Franjo Tudjman appointed general Janko Bobetko from Croatia the commander of the Southern Frontline. His duties included commanding over the units of the Croatian Army and Croatian Defence Council in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the period from April 10, through July 15, 1992, in the capacity of the Croatian Army general and commander of the Southern Frontline, seated in Ploce, he commanded and directed all the units of the Croatian Army from Split to Dubrovnik, and all the units of the Croatian Army and Croatian Defence Council on the part of territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina — in the area of the collaborationist Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia. Afterwards, the duty of commanding over the units of the Croatian Defence Council was taken over by three officers of the Croatian Army, who were subordinated to General Bobetko. On April 15, 1992, in Grude, he formed a forefront command place of the Southern Front, and on the next day he determined the composition of this command; on April 20, he regulated the composition of the Command for “organization and defence” of the direction of Tomislavgrad, and on April 21, he ordered to general Ante Roso to take on the responsibility over the area of Livno, and to brigadier Miljenko Crnjec the responsibility for organization of “defence” in the area of Tomislavgrad; on May 19, he also established a Forefront Command Place in Gornji Vakuf; he issued orders for formation and equipping of units and other activities, in order to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina.[253]

On June 14, 1992, General Bobetko ordered the beginning of offensive activity and relocation of the forces of the Croatian Defence Council in certain direction, and taking over of specific activities within a single military operation.[254] Among other things, in early November 1993, he planned the operations against Bosnia and Herzegovina.[255]

On June 27, 1992, in the capacity of General of the Croatian Army, General Ante Roso promoted Tihomir Blaskic into the rank of Colonel of the Croatian Defence Council and appointed him into the Command of the “Operational Zone of Central Bosnia”. On the post of commander of the Main Headquarters of the HVO, General Milivoj Petkovic was replaced by General Slobodan Praljak, former assistant minister of defence of Croatia in Zagreb, and he himself was replaced by Ante Roso. These decisions on appointments were passed by the President of the Republic of Croatia and the Government of that country,[256] which is one more proof that the HVO in Bosnia and Herzegovina was just a collaborationist formation of another, Croatian, state.

The Croatian Defence Council and the Croatian Army had joint personnel, who were often originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to general Domazet, the officers of the Army of the Republic of Croatia “were voluntarily leaving the Croatian Army, in order to serve in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those officers had to have official permit to do so, and they were considered temporarily detached officers. In fact, it seems that they continued to receive salaries from Croatia”. Those who wanted to return to Croatia could do that provided that they have an official permit from the Croatian Army authorities, which was just a formality.[257]

The high-ranking officers of the Croatian Army, Ante Roso, Milivoj Petkovic, Slobodan Praljak, Ivan Tolj, and many others were deployed for temporary service into the Croatian Defence Council, following which they returned to the Croatian Army. Ante Roso, Milivoj Petkovic, and Slobodan Praljak were high-ranking officers of the Croatian Army before they became commanders and chiefs of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council. Ivan Tolj used to be a Parliament representative, General and Chief of Staff of the Political Administration of the Croatian Army, while simultaneously also a member of the Croatian Defence Council.[258] Colonel of the Croatian Army Miro Andric was also a member of the Croatian Defence Council. Even at the lower level, the Croatian Defence Council was mainly made up of Croats, who had returned from Croatia after having fought in the Croatian Army.[259]

General Tihomir Blaskic was himself appointed in compliance with the procedure that “necessitated selection of people of trust, ready to conduct the policy dictated from Zagreb”. At the meeting in Grude, (November 12, 1991), chaired by Mate Boban, among other things, the positions were adopted to clearly profile and strengthen the personnel of the party policy of the Croatian Democratic Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to select people who are able to execute such tasks, and to prepare in the military way even better for fighting all such forces that will try to stop “the imminent process in creation of the free Croatian state”.[260] General Tihomir Blaskic could not be appointed to the post at which he was if he had not fully supported that ideology, policy and practice.[261] This is, among other things, also confirmed by his appointment (by the President of the Republic and the supreme commander of the Armed Forces of Croatia) to the duty of inspector at the Main Inspectorate of the Croatian Army, on November 14, 1995.[262]

Obviously, with its regular troops and Croatian collaborationists from Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Republic of Croatia has participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that the case involves a conflict of international character. Based on the direct and indirect intervention by the Republic of Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “in an armed conflict against the Bosnian Muslims”, about which “there is more than sufficient evidence”, the Hague Tribunal characterized the conflict as an international one,[263] which means that it is a crime against peace, that is, an aggression against the Republic of Croatia against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It is obvious that the Croatian Army was planning, preparing and conducting the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e., directing and commanding over all the Croatian military operations on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This means that the Croatian Defence Council never existed as an autonomous armed force. In order to conduct the aggression, Croatia, just like Serbia and Montenegro (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), formed its collaborationist military forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the name of Croatian Defence Council. However, afraid of the international sanctions, the Republic of Croatia insisted on the thesis that the Croatian Defence Council is in fact an autonomous armed formation, although in essence the Croatian Defence Council was included in the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia. In fact, the Croatian Defence Council was an integral part of the Croatian Army, which was from its formation completely involved into its organizational and command structure, and which Croatia, among other things, also ensured huge funding for. The Croatian Defence Council and the Croatian Army acted towards execution of the single goal — occupation of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its joining to the neighbouring Republic of Croatia.[264]

In the valley of the Rama and Neretva rivers, and in Central Bosnia, the units of the regular Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council committed numerous crimes against the Bosniak civilian population (mass murders, forced resettlement, illegal arrests, detainment and torture of civilians in concentration camps and prisons, destruction of cities, villages, religious facilities, etc.). This was part of the planned ideology and systematically conducted policy and practice of genocide,committed in an organized way in the aforementioned areas by the members of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council.


References:

1. With the formation of the Croatian Defence Council as the supreme “body of defence of the Croatian people in the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia”, on April 8, 1992, headed by Mate Boban, after organization of “defence” through crisis headquarters in local communities and municipalities, the military forces were formed — the municipal headquarters of the HVO, with power to direct and command the units. Initially, departments and platoons were formed on the territorial principle, and they grew into parties of manoeuvre character, and these grew into battalions. All the municipalities had units at the levels of battalions. The battalions and other units were subordinated to the municipal headquarters. Pursuant to the Decree on the Armed Forces of the “HZ HB” (Narodni list Hrvatske Republike Herceg-Bosna, no. 1/92), dated July 3, 1992, the HVO developed and perfected its military organization. The units were integrated, constituting the basis for formation of larger professional units. Pursuant to the Order of the Main headquarters of the HVO of HZ HB, brigades were formed in the majority of the municipalities of HZ HB (with formation of brigades, all the municipal headquarters had been suspended on December 31, 1992), “which improved the quality of commanding, and the mobility of the units”. The brigades were autonomous units under the command of the GS HVO of HZ HB. The majority of the municipalities had one brigade each. Two municipalities had two brigades each. Some municipalities had joint brigades. Each brigade had its own area of responsibility, including the areas of a number of municipalities. Each brigade consisted of the appropriate number of battalions, the number of which depended on the area of responsibility of each respective HVO battalion. The brigade commanders were foremost responsible for planning and execution of combat activities in the areas of responsibility of the brigades they commanded, and in those terms, they issued orders. Four operational zones were even formed in the HZ HB, consisting of a number of brigades. In the process of reorganization and transformation of the armed forces of HZ HB, in order to form more powerful, quick and manoeuvre-aimed units, professional and special units were also formed, then units of artillery, Military Police, with over 3,000 manpower, and civilian police. Of the existing units (battalions, brigades and the like), guardian brigades and later even military districts. The armed forces of the HZ HB were organized into commands, units and institutions, They consisted of the active and reserve units, and they also had peace- time and war units. The commander of the collaborationist Armed Forces of the HZ HB, was formally the President of the HZ HB, Mate Boban, that is, Dr. Jadranko Prlic, as of August 14, 1992. However, the actual and only supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the HZ HB was President Franjo Tudjman, supreme commander of the Croatian Army. The presidency of the HZ HB, headed by Mate Boban, President of the HVO and the HZ HB, also prescribed the formation of the Main headquarters of the HVO, formed within the Defence Department, seated in Grude, and then in Mostar. Formation of the Main Headquarters of the HVO of HZ HB started in early April 1992, “at the time of the conflicts at Kupres”. Heading the Main headquarters of the HVO in the period of 1992-1995, in the function of chiefs of staff, that is commanders, were the following high-ranking officers of the Croatian Army in turn: brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, general Slobodan Praljak, then again brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, then general Ante Roso, and Tihomir Blaskic. The formation, organization, development and other issues related to the collaborationist formations of the Croatian Army (Croatian Defence Council) were addressed by the author in a separate study, which has as yet not been published.
2. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 328-329.
3. Ibid., p. 328. This meeting was also attended by Perica Juric, minister of interior of the Republic of Croatia, Miso Munivrana, assistant minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia, and others. Immediately after establishment of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, the Main Headquarters of this collaborationist creation was also formed and a “high commissioner” was appointed, who was heading it. This duty was performed by Mate Boban, President of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, and of the Croatian Defence Council, who had participated in that capacity in the meeting near Ploce, on December 7, 1991, attended by the representatives of the crisis headquarters and military commanders of the Central and Southern Dalmatia, and the representatives of the municipalities of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia. From November 1991, this collaborationist creation saw participation of active armed units lead by the officers of the Croatian Army, which indicates to the conclusion that as early as since then, the Croatian Army had been present in Bosnia and Herzegovina (M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 328-329).
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid. This meeting was attended by: minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia Gojko Susak, commander of the Croatian War Navy Sveto Letica, captain of the military vessel Petar Simac, general Martin Spegelj, then Mate Boban, Daidza, and others. According to general Martin Spegelj, the meeting in Glavice was the “operational development of the arrangements from the secret meeting” of the President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tudjman and the delegation of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, attended by the highest officials of the Republic of Croatia, held in Zagreb the day before, on December 27, 1991.
6. Ibid., p. 329. According to Martin Spegelj, Daidza asked for arms and equipment, so in relation to this, he was told that “he would receive them from the quantities conquered at the Male Bare warehouse, otherwise intended for use in Dubrovnik” (Ibid.). General Martin Spegelj claims that he presented “many arguments against such foundation of the unit and warned that the besieged Dubrovnik is at stake, because, although dissipating day in day out, the enemy’s 37th Corps can still push out onto the left bank of Neretva and harm Ploce and endanger Ploce and Metkovic. Unable to explain that the defence of Dubrovnik is more important than a quick flying regiment, I at least tried to save what could be saved and I managed to enforce that half of the arms goes to Daidza, and the second half — mainly small arms and some 80 mm mortars — goes to the defenders of Dubrovnik. This was then transported to the city in rubber motor boats” (Ibid., p. 320).
7. Ibid., pp. 328-329. This meeting too (the place of the meeting was not established) was attended by General Martin Spegelj, where he spoke, just like at the meeting on December 28, 1991. According to himself, Spegelj warned of the necessity to establish alliance “with the Muslims and with everyone who want to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that all of this needs to be done through legal channels and through an inter-state agreement such as the one that we used to have with Slovenia” (Ibid., p. 329). 8. Ibid., p. 329, note ; J. Bobetko, SVE MOJE BITKE, Zagreb, 1996, p. 202; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1678, Republic of Croatia, President, Order, No.: PA7-28/I-92, Zagreb, April 10, 1992, 22:30 h.
9. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 328-329. Drafting of the joint plan of defence and formation of the Joint Command for South Croatia and the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia (in early April 1992), logistic securing of material and technical resources, support in the officer personnel, training of the units of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia in the Republic of Croatia, the single system of communications, etc., corroborate the aggressive intentions of the Republic of Croatia.
10. AIIZ, inv. No. 1-1680, Command of the OZ Split, IZM —Ploce, April 12, 1992; Class: 8/92-01/17, Reg. No. 6030-02/92-01 — to the Commander 4/4 no. ZNG; Ibid., inv. No. No. 1-1682, Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, Class: 8/92-01/26, Reg. No. 6030-02/92-01, Ploce, April 15, 1992, class: 8/92-01/26, Reg. No. 6030-03/92-01; Ibid., inv. No. No. 1-1689, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of the OZ Split, Class: 8/92-01/48, Reg. No. 6030-03/92-01, Ploce, April 25, 1992 — to the Commander of the 15th Brigade of the HV, captain Ante Urlic; Ibid., no. 2-1693, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/58, Ploce, April 30 — to the commanders of Livno, Tomislavgrad and the 115th Brigade of the HV; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1694, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command, OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/61, Reg. No. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, May 2, 1992 — to the Command of the 126th Brigade of the HV, 115th Brigade of the HV and to TG-4; to the Defence of Livno and the Defence of Tomislavgrad; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1699, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/90, Reg. No. 6030-02/92-1, Ploce, May 19, 1992, Deployment of the Regiment Frankopan into Central Bosnia; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1703, Republic of Croatia, GS of the Croatian Army, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/119, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, May 28, 1992 — to the Command of the Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina; 156th Brigade of the HV, 1st Brigade of the HVO, Capljina, TG-2, 4/4, no. ZNG, Order for Attack Operation no. 1; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1704, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/118, Reg.No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 6, 1992, Order for establishment of the regiment of Stolac; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1706, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/136, Reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 14, 1992 — to the Commander of the OG JIH (Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina); Ibid., inv. No. 2-1707, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/139, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1 Ploce, June 15, 1992, ORDER for active defence; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1708, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/141, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 16, 1992, ORDER TO SUPPORT THE FORCES IN THE ACTION AGAINST STOLAC; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1712, Republic of Croatia, GS of the Croatian Army, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/181, reg. No. 1080-010-01-92-1, Ploce, July 13, 1992 — to the Command: of the Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina; 1st Herzegovina Brigade (Colonel Obradovic); TG-2 (Colonel Beneta), and 1st no. Of ZNG “A”, ORDER FOR DEFENCE no. 1; Ibid., inv. No. 2-188, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, M.P. 3033, reg. No.1812/92, Sisak, October 3, 1992, ORDER; AIIZ, fund 3, inv. No. 2685; Ibid., inv. No.2-2227, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, OG of East Posavina, class: 8/92-01, No. OG-01-92-192/2, Slavonski Brod, May 21, 1992, ORDER; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1710, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/150, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1 Ploce, June 18, 1992 — Attn. Mr. Andabak, Attn. Mr. Jaganjac; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2290, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence Zagreb, class: confidential 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 5120-13-92-78, Zagreb, June 5, 1992 — to the Command of the 101st R Brigade; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2966, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Department of defence, Main Headquarters of the HVO, No. 09-451/93, Mostar, March 12, 1993 — to the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia, Police Administration Zagreb; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1890, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Special Forces Unit of the Main Headquarters, Regiment of Matija Vlacic, Sapjane, Opatija, CLASS; 8/92-01/208, reg. No. 5120-03-912-723, Sapjane, September 9, 1993, CERTIFICATE; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1891, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Special Units of the Main Headquarters of the HV., Regiment Matija Vlacic, CLASS: 8/92/01/208, reg. No. 5120-03-912-866, Sapjane, October 15, 1993, CERTIFICATE; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1892, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Special Units of the Main Headquarters of the HV, Regiment Matija Vlacic, CLASS: 8/92/01/208, reg. No. 5120-03-912-867, Sapjane, October 15, 1993, CERTIFICATE; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2659, Command of the 1st Krajina Corps, confidential, no. 716, October 3, 1992 — to the Command of the 30th Partisan Division; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2650, Command of the 5th Corps, March 29, 1992, Stara Gradiska — to the Command of 30th Partisan Division; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2474; Shorthand Transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman, Janko Bobetko, Imre Agotic, Josip Lucic, and Gojko Susak, at the Presidential Courts, October 22, 1992, Dani, October 25, 2002, p. 23; Ibid., inv. No. 2-3009, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, ZP Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor, No. 01/5384, Prozor, December 5, 1993 — to the Combat Group of the 5th Domobran Regiment of Osijek; J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 203, 209-210, 218, 232, 235-238, 242-247, 263-264, 272-273, and the like; M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 336, 338-340, 342, 345, 362-363, 405-406, and the like; Slobodna Bosna, February 20, 1998; I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 138; Slobodna Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15 and 23; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p, 159; ICTY, Case: No. It-95-14/1-T, paragraph 78, note 182. In the assessment of general Ilija Radakovic, in April 1992, on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Croatian Army had six brigades, of which five (with some 70 tanks) was on the area of Bosanski Brod — Derventa (I. Radakovic, the aforementioned work, p. 138).
11. Some units of the Croatian Army, such as for instance, the 175th Brigade, were kept on the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina even after March 18, 1994 (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2946, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, class: 801-02/94-01/04, reg. no. 02-01-94-1, Mostar, April 22, 1994 — to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, the Cabinet).
12. ICTY, Case: No. IT-98-34-I, PROSECUTOR AGAINST MLADEN NALETILIC, aka Tuta, and VINKO MARTINOVIC, aka Stela, INDICTMENT (hereinafter referred to as: ICTY, Case: No. IT-98-34-I), the Hague, December 21, 1998, paragraphs 7-11, 25-26, and the like.
13. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 27, 124, and 202; AIIZ, 2-1678, Republic of Croatia, President, ORDER, no. PA 7-28/1-92, Zagreb, April 10, 1992, 22:30 h, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 202. On April 10, 1992, General of the Army District Janko Bobetko took on the Southern Frontline, in the capacity of the commander of the Southern Frontline, with competencies of commanding over all the naval and land forces in this segment of the front (Ibid.).
14. Ibid.
15. AIIZ, inv. No. 1-1680, Command of the OZ Split, IZM —Ploce, April 12, 1992; Class: 8/92-01/17, Reg. No. 6030-02/92-01 — to the Commander 4/4 no. ZNG; Ibid., inv. No. No. 1-1682, Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, Class: 8/92-01/26, Reg. No. 6030-02/92-01, Ploce, April 15, 1992, class: 8/92-01/26, Reg. No. 6030-03/92-01; AIIZ, 2-1683, Command of the Southern Frontline IZM — Grude, April 16, 1992, Formation of the IZM of the Southern Frontline; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1685, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM — Grude, Grude, April 19, 1992 — to the Command of defence of Livno, to the Command of defence of Tomislavgrad — attn. Commander; Ibid., inv. No. 2- 1683, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline IZM — Grude, April 20, 1992; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1697, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 119-01/92-02/1, reg. No. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, May 7, 1992; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1701, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/91, reg. No. 6030-02/92-1, Ploce, May 19, 1992, Formation of the IZM of Central Bosnia; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1703, Republic of Croatia, GS of the Croatian Army, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/119, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, May 28, 1992 — to the Command: of the Operational Group of South Herzegovina; to the 156th Brigade of the HV; to the 1st Brigade of the HVO of Capljina; to the TG-2; 4/4. no. ZNG, Order for Attack Operation no. 1; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1706, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class_8/92-01/136, Reg. No. 1080-01- 01-92-1, Ploce, June 14, 1992 — to the Commander of the OG JIH (Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina); Ibid., inv. No. 2-1707, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/139, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1 Ploce, June 15, 1992, ORDER for active defence; Ibid., inv. No.2-1714, Republic of Croatia, GS of the Croatian Army, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/181, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, July 13, 1992 — to the Command: of the Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina; 1st Herzegovina Brigade (Colonel Obradovic); TG-2 (Colonel Beneta); 1st no. ZNG “A”, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 133, 203, 206-207, 209-210, 212-214, 229, 235-237, and 242-247.
16. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 133.
17. See footnote 126.
18. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 200-202, and others. Unlike Franjo Tudjman, who publicly presented the reasons for passing of the Order dated April 10, 1992, in his book SVE MOJE BITKE (Zagreb 1996), General Janko Bobetko concealed the actual intentions of passing such an order and of his appointment as the commander of the Southern Frontline. Namely, he claims that, several hours before passing such an order, on the same day in the evening hours he talked to minister Susak, and warned him that the “major danger for Croatia is cutting off or cutting through of the southern part of the frontline”. Following this, (one hour before passing such an order), they went to see President Franjo Tudjman, and explained to him the complexity of the situation. At the time, Janko Bobetko told Franjo Tudjman that, in his assessment, “the enemy is preparing a multi-sided attack, whose basic directions lead to conquering of the Neretva valley, that their ultimate point is the Ploce port, that the current position north of Metkovic up to Mostar is critical…”. Then, general Janko Bobetko proposed to Franjo Tudjman to draft an order “giving him the authority and responsibility to perform this task”, which was actually done by Franjo Tudjman at 22:30 h. Instead of such explanation, in the sub-title “Preparations and organization of defence of the broader area of Herzegovina and preparations for the Cagalj Operation”, general Janko Bobetko openly expresses his authority, tasks and goals — taking of the “broader area of Herzegovina” (J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 200-202, and the like). General Martin Spegelj claims that the goals of activity of Bobetko’s group were — “taking of the largest territory possible, in order to divide up BiH with Serbia” (∴ RAT U HRVATSKOJ I BOSNI I HERCEGOVINI 1991-1995, hereinafter referred to as: RAT…, edited by Branka Magas and Ivo Zanic, Zagreb — Sarajevo 1999, p. 135).
19. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1680, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 6030-08/91-01, April 12, 1992 - to the Commander 4/4 brigade of the ZNG, Order, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 201-203. 20. Ibid.
21. Ibid.
22. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1682, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters, April 12, 1992, Order to Colonel Vladimir Perak, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 204. With this order, general Janko Bobetko forced Colonel Perak to surrender the duty of command in the direction of Citluk. As general Janko Bobetko wrote, he had defended this direction “with small, non-dug and poorly deployed forces”, “he was working based on the orders from KOS”, and after dismissal, “he was quick to get lost from that part of the frontline and according to some reliable information, today he is living in Belgrade” (Ibid.).
23. In appreciation of the operational and tactical significance of the Kupres Plateau and the Kupreska Gate range, during 1991, on this territory the JNA had deployed significant armored and mechanized forces, under the excuse of regular exercising activities. Those JNA forces on the Kupres Plateau had participated in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In late March 1992, the Croatian Army made a breakthrough towards Kupres from the south, and in the first phase it realized certain results, entering Kupres (ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, Sarajevo 2001, p. 86). In the beginning and in the first half of April 1992, on the Kupres Plateau, the JNA units (the 5th and 9th Corpses) were waging some intensive combat activity. In the period from April 2 through 11, the JNA broke down three brigades of the Croatian Army, as well as the HVO and HOS forces. In these combats, the Croatian forces had big human casualties and loss in material and technical resources (For more detail on this, please see: AIIZ, inv. No. 2-85, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36 — 2000, April 5, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL RESPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-86, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2025, April 6, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-87, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36 — 1987, April 2, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL RESPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-89, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36 — 1957, April 3, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL RESPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-90, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2050, April 7, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-91, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2082, April 8, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-93, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2125, April 10, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-94, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2150, April 11, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; and: M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 336; K. Rotim, the aforementioned work, volume 2, pp. 203, and 206).
24. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 205. According to general Janko Bobetko, Mate Boban is “one of the most responsible persons in Herzegovina”, with whom he constantly cooperated and visited the frontlines (Ibid., p. 205).
25. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1682, Republic of Croatia, Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/26, no. 6030-03/92-01, Ploce, April 15, 1992, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 208-211. In this order, General Bobetko even determined the time (hour and date) for defence preparedness. Based on this order (too), it is obvious that the Main Headquarters of the HVO in Grude was subordinated to General Janko Bobetko.
26. Cf. note 126, supra.
27. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1683, command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, April 16, 1992, Formation of the IZM of the Southern Frontline, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 205-207. On this command, in addition to the personal signature of the commander, General Janko Bobetko, there is also a round seal with the Croatian flag in the middle and the inscription: “GLAVNI STOZER HERCEG-BOSNE” (General Staff of Herzeg-Bosnia). With these organizational measures, General Bobetko regulated “all the organizational issues in functioning of all the directions of the frontline” (J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 205). Namely, from the forefront command places in Ploce and Grude, he was planning and conducting all the aggression actions by the units of the Croatian Army and its collaborationists — the HVO in Herzegovina and in Central Bosnia.
28. Ibid. Bruno Stojic was appointed the logistics support officer. “Regarding the settling of the situation in Tomislavgrad, shown through instigating and violent action by the armed groups against the current Command, encouraged most probably by the local leaders”, based on the order by General Bobetko, Milivoj Petkovic, commander at the IZM Grude was made “was made available to the Command of Tomislavgrad” from May 16, 1992 until further notice, and “Major Ante Jelavic would represent him” at the IZM Grude (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1689, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/85, no. 6030-01/92-1 Ploce, May 16, 1992 — to General Major A. Roso, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 220).
29. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1684, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, no.01-195/92, April 16, 1992, Composition of the IZM Command of the Southern Frontline, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 208. The functioning of the IZM Grude of the GS HVO Grude was ensured by “one passenger vehicle with a driver”. Based on the aforementioned order, a number of persons were temporarily placed “on the payroll of the OZ Split”. The list of these persons was to be compiled by Colonel Milivoj Petkovic and to be submitted to the financial department of the Operational Zone of Split. 30. See note 126.
31. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1686, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, April 20, 1992, Appointment of the officers at the Command of Defence of Tomislavgrad, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 211-214. The other vacancies were to be filled in “based on the staff inflow”. The aforementioned command came “into effect immediately”.
32. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1687, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, Grude, April 21, 1992, Division of the areas of responsibility, Command — to general major Ante Roso, brigadier Miljenko Crnjec, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 215-216. In mid-May 1992, due to the situation related to directing and commanding at the Command of Tomislavgrad, on May 16, 1992, general Janko Bobetko issued the order to general Ante Roso, in order to strengthen that command, so that he would “use his influence and most energetic action” to prevent “all groups and individuals who wish to promote themselves in commanders of various levels”. In relation to this, among other things, general Ante Roso was ordered as follows: “2. At introducing order, have the most energetic approach, from disarmament to application of repressive measures and arrests. 3. By no means allow for interference of the civilian authorities in the defence issues” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1698, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/85, no. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, May 16, 1992 — to general major Ante Roso, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 220). In the end of this order, General Bobetko pointed out that the situation in Tomislavgrad will immediately be reported about to the minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia, “and he would be asked to arrive on site as an urgent matter, and to use his authority to remove any groups or individuals who are referring to that they are directly reporting to the Minister” (Ibid.).
33. AIIZ, inv. No,. 2-1690, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/47, no. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, April 25, 1992 — to the Command of Sector for Siroki Brijeg, Citluk, Ljubuski, and Capljina, attn. General major Slobodan Praljak; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1697, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 119-01/92-02/1, reg. No. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, May 7, 1992, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 216-229. On April 21, 1992, General Bobetko informed his subordinated commanders: generals Roso and Praljak, and brigadier Miljenko Crnjec, “that on April 23, 1992, at 20:00 hours at the Forefront Command Place of Grude (Tobacco Station) the reporting session shall be held on the following issues: 1. Situation, assessment and measures in relation to the frontline; 2. Proposed measures and ideas for combat activity in their areas of responsibility (precisely and well-argumented); 3. Specific needs in logistical support for strengthening of the current defence capacity given the realistic possibilities” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1687, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, Grude, April 21, 1992, Division of the areas of responsibility, Command — to general major Ante Roso, general Slobodan Praljak; brigadier Miljenko Crnjec). On April 25, 1992, for the sake of balanced use of the equipment, armament and other equipment seized at the Capljina Barracks, commander of the Southern Frontline, General Bobetko, issued the following command personally to general major Praljak: “1. Supply me with an exact listing of the arms and technical equipment seized at the Capljina Barracks. Propose which resources are needed for your units, and what could be distributed to other units. 2. After de-mining of the warehouse, proceed in the same way with the ammunition and other resources, as stated in point 1 of this Command; 3. This is to be held URGENT and this command is to be treated in such a manner; 4. Send the list of the arms and technical equipment and other items by COURIER” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1690, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/47, no. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, April 25, 1992 — to the Command of Sector for Siroki Brijeg, Citluk, Ljubuski, and Capljina, attn. general major Slobodan Praljak).
34. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1688, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, Grude, April 21, 1992, Reporting of the Commanders — Notice — to general Ante Roso, general Slobodan Praljak, and brigadier Miljenko Crnjec; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1698, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of Oz Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/85, no. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, May 16, 1992 — to general major Ante Roso, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 211-213, 216, and 220.
35. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 211.
36. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1689, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/48, no. 6030-01/92-1 Ploce, April 25, 1992 — to Commander of the 156th Brigade of HV, captain of the corvette Ante Urlic, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 218. On April 25, 1992, General Janko Bobetko issued to the commander of the 156th Brigade of the Croatian Army, captain of the corvette Ante Urlic, “the Command for re- subordinating and use of the anti-tank group from Sisak” (Ibid.). Based on this order, the POG entered the composition of the 156th Brigade of the Croatian Army, “both in the tactical and in the logistical sense”, and also, the commander of the POG was obligated to report at 9:00 AM on a daily basis about the situation and the completed activities of the group and to propose the daily tasks, including the responsibility and obligation of the commander of the 156th brigade of the Croatian Army, Captain Urlic, in terms of proposing of goals and determining of priorities. General Janko Bobetko personally knew all the people in the composition of the POG, and warned captain Urlic to pay attention and take care of them (Ibid.). 37. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1691, Command of the Southern Frontline, IMZ Grude, April 28, 1992, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 223.
38. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1705, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, Grude, June 14, 1992, Issuance of Military Accreditations to the members of the HVO units, COMMAND.
39. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1692, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/56, no. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, April 29, 1992 — to the Presidents of the Stolac and Neum Municipalities, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 224. This order developed the manner of recording manpower and mobilizations of those able for combat activity, and formation of units, directing and commanding, logistical support, and the like.
40. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1693 Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/58, Ploce, April 30, 1992 — to the Commanders of Livno, Tomislavgrad and the 115th Brigade of HV, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 225.
41. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1697, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 119-01/92-02/1, no. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, May 7, 1992, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 229. The transfer of duty was conducted in Grude, on May 8, 1992, (at 16:00 hours), in the presence of General Bobetko. Pursuant to the Law on the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, general Praljak was obligated to file “the comprehensive report on the status and problems of the Sector”. At the time, in the Sector of Brigadier Andabak, Marin Pivcevic was appointed to duty, “performing the duty he also performed in the previous units or as determined by commander Andabak” (Ibid.).
42. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1701, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/91, no. 6030-02/92-1, Ploce, May 19, 1992, Formation of the IZM “Central Bosnia”, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 219-221. Based on this command, brigadier Tole was authorized to appoint the required number of officers and junior officers “for effective work on the IZM”.
43. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1700, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/92, no. 6030-02/92-1, Ploce, May 19, 1992, Appointment of the Commander — Command - published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 230. Zeljko Siljeg was in charge of commanding over the units until the arrival of Colonel Kapular.
44. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1699, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/90, no. 6030-02/92-1, Ploce, May 19, 1992, Deployment of the Frankopan Battalion into Central Bosnia, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 231. The Frankopan Battalion could only be used based on the command of brigadier Zarko Tole.
45. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1704, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/118, no. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 6, 1992, COMMAND on the Establishment the Stolac Battalion; J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 232-233. - This order determined the units to do the training: - Patrolling platoon — autonomous patrolling company of Vojista; - 120 mm mortar platoon — 116th brigade of the Croatian Army; - 76 mm cannon platoon — 116th brigade of the Croatian Army; - Engineering squad — 4th brigade of the Croatian National Guard. Brigadier Luka Dzanko was personally in charge of execution of the aforementioned command.
46. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1680, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 6030-08/91-01, April 12, 1992 . to the Commander 4/4 brigade of ZNG; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1682, Republic of Croatia, Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/26, no. 6030-03/92-01, Ploce, April 15, 1992; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1689, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, class: 8/92-01/48, no. 6030-03/92-1 Ploce, April 25, 1992 — to the Commander of the 156th Brigade of the HV, captain of the corvette Ante Urlic; Ibid., no. 2-1693, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/58, Ploce, April 30 — to the commanders of Livno, Tomislavgrad and the 115th Brigade of the HV; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1694, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command, OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/61, Reg. No. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, May 2, 1992 — to the Command of the 126th Brigade of the HV, 115th Brigade of the HV and to TG-4; to the Defence of Livno and the Defence of Tomislavgrad; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1699, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/90, Reg. No. 6030-02/92-1, Ploce, May 19, 1992, Deployment of the Regiment Frankopan into Central Bosnia; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1703, Republic of Croatia, GS of the Croatian Army, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/119, reg. No.1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, May 28, 1992 — to the Command of the Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina; 156th Brigade of the HV, 1st Brigade of the HVO, Capljina, TG-2, 4/4, no. ZNG, Order for Attack Operation no. 1; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2290, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence Zagreb, class: confidential 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 5120-13-92-78, Zagreb, June 5, 1992 — to the Command of the 101st R Brigade; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1704, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/118, no. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 6, 1992, COMMAND on the Establishment the Stolac Battalion; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1706, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/136, Reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 14, 1992 — to the Commander of the OG JIH (Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina); Ibid., inv. No. 2-1707, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/139, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1 Ploce, June 15, 1992, ORDER for active defence; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1708, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/141, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 16, 1992, ORDER TO SUPPORT THE FORCES IN THE ACTION AGAINST STOLAC; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1714, Republic of Croatia, GS of the Croatian Army, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/181, reg. No. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, July 13, 1992 — to the Command: of the Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina; 1st Herzegovina Brigade (Colonel Obradovic); TG-2 (Colonel Beneta), and 1st Brigade of ZNG “A”, COMMAND FOR DEFENCE no. 1; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2961, Republic of Croatia, Croatian National Guard, I Brigade, VI Battalion, Klek, May 18, 1992, Redeployment into BiH; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2991, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of OZ Central Bosnia, IZM Vitez, no: 01-5-547/93, May 21, 1993 — to the GS HVO Mostar; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2290, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence Zagreb, class: confidential 8/92-01/17, reg. No.5120-13-92-78, Zagreb, June 5, 1992 — to the Command of the 101st R Brigade; Ibid., inv. No. 2-3049, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, Military Post 2123 “R” of the HV, class: 9-01/92, no. 2123-01-92-2613, Beketinci, June 8, 1992, COMMAND; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2953, Republic of Croatia, Command of TG-2, No. 2039/92, Cerovica, June 18, 1992, and Crnici, June 19, 1992 — to the Commander of the company “Bozan”; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2971, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters of the HVO, no. 02-2/1-01-4044/93, Posusje, November 21, 1993 — to the commander of the communications platoon N GS HV and others. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 133, 103, 209, 210, 218, 232, 235-238, and 242-247.
47. AIIZ, inv. No. 2685. In 1991 and later on, many Croats from Stolac and other regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina were members of the Croatian Army. Thus, just for an illustration, Ivica Boskovic (son of Jozo and mother Luca), born on July 21, 1963, in Crnici (Stolac), from January through June 1992, was the member of the Volunteer Regiment Kralj Tomislav, stationed in Vrgorac. At the time, the following persons also joined that unit together with him: Luka Peric, from Crnici (Stolac), in mid-1993, member of the Battalion Ludvig Pavlovic in Capljina. He participated in the combats against the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Gornji Vakuf and Mostar; Bosko Prce (from Crnici-Stolac), in late June 1993 he was the member of the 4th Battalion from Stolac; Miro Cemeras from Capljina; Zeljko Marjanovic (from Celjevo, Capljina); Ivica Ivankovic (from Celjevo, Capljina), et al.Regiment Kralj Tomislav was commanded by Nijaz Batlak, alias Mate Sarlija, aka Daidza. The training was done by Bozan Simovic, Bozo Curcija, officers of the Croatian Army, and Miro Rupcic from Polog. All the members of that unit were granted Croatian citizenship. After the completed training, this unit rushed into Bosnia and Herzegovina (in the area of Krusevo-Mostar). In May 1992, the unit attacked and took the JNA barracks in Capljina. Around June 6, 1992, several members of the Regiment Kralj Tomislav (from Vrgorac) separated from the main composition of that unit and formed the First Autonomous Battalion Ludvig Pavlovic. The unit was stationed in the JNA Barracks in Capljina, which they named after Bozan Simovic. At those barracks there were some other units too, such as for instance, the First Herzegovina Brigade, the Military Police, the HOS units, and a Domobran unit (Ibid.).
48. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2957, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters of the HVO, no. 02-2/1-01-4312/93, Mostar, December 26, 1993 —to the Republic Fund of Pension and Disability Insurance of the workers of the Croatian regional services in Split; M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 342. General Spegelj claims that in Croatia, parallel with the HOS, “some more formations beyond the HV system and the single command vertical” began to arise, and that the majority had “sources in the Ministry of Defence, that is, behind them was Minister Susak himself”. In spite of that he states that such units “are not in the Croatian Army at all, they act autonomously, they mine houses, plunder, and they are in conflict with the HV and its commanders”, they were formed with the knowledge and “under the green light of President Tudjman”, who, in a discussion with Martin Spegelj, confirmed that the case involves such type of units under the command of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army. Upon Spegelj’s claim that this is not so, Franjo Tudjman answered: “I can not understand that” (M. Spegelj, SJECANJA VOJNIKA, p. 342). According to Spegelj, general Ante Roso was at the Main Headquarters only formally, where “he never appeared with a report on those units”, and “was responsible exclusively to the minister of defence, just like the goals and tasks of his units were exclusively in the jurisdiction of that minister”. In relation to this, Martin Spegelj claims that “neither the GS HV nor the commanders of the operational zones and brigades had no supervision or the right of command over them” (Ibid., p. 343). Due to “all of this”, Martin Spegelj “experienced those formations as paramilitary ones”, so in a number of reports to President Franjo Tudjman, Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army, minister of defence and Office of Protection of the Constitutional Order (to Josip Manolic), “he documented their existence and overall negative activity”. After that, “soon a command came that all such units be immediately included into the HV formations”. However, according to Spegelj, “this never happened”, because the minister of defence “was promising one thing while doing the other”, and thus “the special units existed all the time until the end of 1993, beyond any systematic or legal supervision” (Ibid.). Having in mind the fact that the “special units” were backed by Minister Gojko Susak and President Franjo Tudjman, who “knows all and tolerates them”, obviously they did not have the character of paramilitary formations. The more so because these units, according to Martin Spegelj, “were created as the revolutionary units of Minister Susak, with the ideology of neo-fascism” (Ibid., pp. 342-346).
49. M. Spegelj, SJECANJA VOJNIKA, pp. 343, and 405-406. The manner of formation, organization and other issues related to that unit, according to Martin Spegelj, were determined by Gojko Susak “beyond the supervision of the GS HV or any other command of the HV” (Ibid., p. 343).
50. Ibid., p. 344. Battalion Frankopan, made up mainly of the “soldiers with military experience from all the frontlines”, commanded by Colonel Ilija Tot, with Battalion “Zrinski”, was formally in the composition of the Brigade Zrinski-Frankopan. The commander of that brigade was Ante Roso. The commander of the Battalion Zrinski was Colonel Milenko Filipovic (Ibid., pp. 344-345). Colonel Ilija Tot was a legionary, who had arrived in the Republic of Croatia in 1991. He was the “real soldier, the most educated and the most competent among them, and the only one with an officer rank”. Several days after the arrival in Suica, where the JNA forces of Colonel Ratko Mladic “had fully broken down the defence, which was dissipating”, Ilija Tot took over the command “and in several days he accomplished a high degree of organization in the Operational Zone”. He openly clashed with general Ante Roso, when in Herzegovina (Prozor and Tomislavgrad) he “saw general disorder, plundering and molesting of population, and the Ustasha symbols and celebration of the NDH”. He was invited to Zagreb, because Ante Roso had dismissed him and replaced him with captain, later major, Bruno Zoric Zulu (aka: Ivan Zoric — Zulu; see: pp. 991-992), also a legionary, criminal by profession. Ilija Tot went back to France again. (Ibid., p. 344).
51. Ibid., p 345.
52. AIIZ, inv. No,. 2-1690, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/47, no. 6030-01/92-1, Ploce, April 25, 1992 — to the Command of Sector for Siroki Brijeg, Citluk, Ljubuski, and Capljina, attn. General major Slobodan Praljak; J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 27, 125-126, 219-247, 249, 263, and 270-271. Before the operation Cagalj, the Croatian Army had taken Capljina. With forces under his command and with volunteers from the area of Sunja, General Praljak was attacking Capljina (the attack lasted for 2-3 days). He was seeking the support of the artillery of the 156th Brigade, which was located in the broader area of Gabela. The forces of the Mostar HVO were controlling and besieging Capljina. After that, Capljina was taken and it served as the basis in carrying out of the operation Cagalj (Ibid.). One more party of the Croatian defence forces (HOS) too participated in taking of Capljina, and later on went into the composition of the Croatian Army and took part in all the operations in Herzegovina (Ibid.).
53. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 249. General Bobetko assessed that that the Greater Serbia aggressor would cut Croatia in half in the Neretva valley, because, according to him, “this is the old dream of Serbia: to reach the sea and take the port of Ploce” (Ibid., p. 27). In late April, 1992, the Greater Serbia aggressor had gathered elite forces from Serbia (from Nis and other cities), and moved ahead to attack in the direction of Neum, Metkovic, Ploce. Their goal was to push through to the left bank of the Neretva river, burn down Neum and arrive in the Neretva valley. The combat lasted for three days and three nights. According to General Bobetko, the Croatian Army withstood that attack, halving the Greater Serbia forces (breaking their spine), after which they started retrieving and changing their combat positions. (Ibid., pp. 125-126). According to Janko Bobetko, the Greater Serbia aggressor regrouped the forces and moved ahead in the direction of the Neretva river. In the second half of April, “a rather big military force was gathered for execution of the final task, meaning the attack on Neretva” (Ibid., p. 132). The biggest danger for Croatia, as written by General Bobetko, was cutting off or cutting through of the southern part of the frontline. According to his assessment, the enemy was preparing an attack from a number of sides, whose basic directions were leading to ruling the Neretva river, and having their ultimate point in the port of Ploce (Ibid., p. 200).
54. Ibid., p. 263.
55. Ibid., pp. 219-247.
56. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1710, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/150, no.: 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 18, 1992 — Attn. Mr. Andabak, Attn. Mr. Jaganjac; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2947, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters of the HVO of HZ HB, strictly confidential, no. 01-2762/92, Mostar, December 15, 1992 — to the Head of Defence of the HZ HB; J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 263-264, and 272-273. With this special operation, according to Bobetko, the Croatian Army “cleansed” the left bank of the Neretva river, and “the Croatian people in Herzegovina has preserved a part of its territory until to-date” (J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 271-271). General Janko Bobetko was proud of them “having preserved” Herzegovina (“that part of the Croatian space, I mean the part populated by the Croatian people”). Related to the aforementioned, he pays tribute and indicates upon the people who, “in whole that organization, have grown and proven their responsibility”, such as, in addition to Gojko Susak and Mate Boban, Colonel Ante Gotovina (later General), Ivan Kapular (later General), Zarko Tole (later General), “which was decisive in the defence of the city of Livno”, then rear admiral Davor Domazet (Ibid., pp. 248-249). It is interesting that General Bobetko never mentions the activities of the Autonomous Battalion of Defence of Mostar, which gave an exceptionally big contribution in liberating of Mostar, particularly in the combats of June 14, 1992. 57. Z. Tomac, the aforementioned work, pp. 36-37.
58. Operation Cagalj in the Neretva valley, according to general Spegelj, was transformed “into advancing and withdrawing — scattered advancing of Bobetko’s group and scattered withdrawing of the Montenegrin army” (RAT…, p. 134).
59. Z. Tomac, the aforementioned work, p. 76. After the Karadzic-Boban agreement “there was a cease of enmities with the Serb formations in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. “…The enmities between the HV and HVO on the one side, and the Serb army, on the other side, almost ceased…”. According to Spegelj, in the Operation of liberation of the south of Croatia and taking of south Herzegovina (Operation Cagalj), the Serb army had pulled back. In relation to this, he brought up a justified question — “Does this have to do anything with the Bosnian Posavina? Has the south of Croatia been swapped for Bosnian Posavina?”. In asking these questions, he stated that, “regardless of the answer, one should have in mind that on both places the combats were actual, that armed fighting was conducted, that people were dying, because for the sake of their own and the world’s public, the players of the war had to mask the agreement using the deaths of their own soldiers at the frontlines. For those soldiers, the war was a cruel reality, not a conference room combination exercise”. In Posavina and in the south of Croatia, serious armed fighting was conducted (M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 359-362). Such development of events was in compliance with the Karadzic-Boban Agreement, following which the reasons ceased from existence for “armed conflicts between the Croats and Serbs on the whole territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina” and the conditions were in place for “arbitrary setting of borders” (Z. Tomac, the aforementioned work, p. 37).
60. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 267.
61. Ibid.
62. Ibid., p. 273. For general Janko Bobetko, Herzegovina is “the southern part of the Croatian territory” (Ibid., p. 275). In relation to this, he claims that the Croatian Army has also preserved “the Neretva valley, and Herzegovina” (Ibid., p. 291).
63. Ibid., p. 270.
64. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1705, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, Grude, June 14, 1992, Issuance of the Military Accreditations to the members of the HVO units, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 234. Issuance of the military accreditations for the members of the Main Headquarters of the HVO (IZM Grude) was, based on this order, in exclusive jurisdiction of the legal department of the Main Headquarters of the HVO, “and as for the other members of the HVO units, it was in the jurisdiction of the legal department of the OS HVO HZ HB” (Ibid.).
65. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 235-238.
66. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1710, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/150, no. 1080-01-01-92-1, Ploce, June 1992 — Attn. Mr. Andabak, attn. Mr. Jaganjac.
67. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 239. Thus, on June 18, 1992, he issued one such order to the Command of the HVO Mostar. All “the detained enemy officers and civilians, who had certain functions in the structures of the enemy power” were to be sent to the Ploce prison during the night of June 18, 1992. The person in charge of surrender of the detainees and the seized documents was Major Jasmin Jaganjac. The taking over of the detainees “shall be done by Mr. Ivan PENGA” [capitals in the original], who “possesses the badge of the Military Police of RH no. 0207”. The Police Precinct of Grude was obligated to secure the vehicles for the transportation of the detainees and an escort vehicle.
68. Ibid., p. 204. Related to this, on June 29, 1992, having in mind “the necessity of functioning of certain economic facilities in Mostar (Hydropower Plant Salakovac, Hydropower Plant Mostar, the Aluminium Plant, Soko, etc.)”, General Janko Bobetko issued the Order to the Operational Group of Southeast Herzegovina (JIH) Medjugorje (“Attn. Mr. Zdravko Andabak”) to draft the defence plans for all the important economic facilities and to ensure their protection. The focus in planning was to be on “defence against the attack on the facilities and on anti-commando security”. 69. Ibid., p. 241; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1712, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/165, no: 1080-01-92-1; Ploce, June 30, 1992 — to the Municipal Headquarters of the HVO Siroki Brijeg, Attn. Mr. Petar Cavar. “For the sake of stabilization of the front in the Podvelezje area”, on June 30, 1992, commander of the Southern Frontline, general Janko Bobetko issued an Order to the Municipal headquarters of the HVO of Siroki Brijeg (Attn. Petar Cavar) to send the tank crews to Mostar and to “secure the communications system”).
70. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-85, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36 — 2000, April 5, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL RESPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-86, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no.10/36-2025, April 6, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-87, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36 — 1987, April 2, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL RESPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-89, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no.10/36 — 1957, April 3, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL RESPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-90, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2050, April 7, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-91, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2082, April 8, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-93, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no.10/36-2125, April 10, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-94, Command of the 2nd Military District, Operational duty team, strictly confidential, no. 10/36-2150, April 11, 1992 — GS OS SFRY — Operational Center, to the Command of the 2nd Military District, attn. Commander, COMBAT AND OPERATIONAL REPORT. The aforementioned brigades of the Croatian Army were waging the combat activities against the JNA in the direction: Suica-Tomislavgrad. In the first half of April 1992, they were defeated and for the most part broken down, and at that they had some 250-300 dead and a significant number of wounded members. In those combats, the units of the 9th JNA Corps seized several hundreds of barrels of infantry arms, a major number of “zolja” rocket launchers, bazookas, one self-propelling vehicle, one tank T-55, three dumpers, four dredgers and eight motor vehicles with ammunition (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-94).
71. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2225, Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, No. 06-05/92, /Slavonski Brod/, May 16, 1992 — to the Bosanski Brod Brigade and others; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2230, Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina, class: 8/92-01, no. BP-01/92-13 /Slavonski Brod/, May 25, 1992 — to the 107th Brigade of the HVO Gradacac; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2232, Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina, class: 035-01/92-01, No. BP-01/92-37, Slavonski Brod, June 13, 1992 — to the 101st Brigade of the HVO.
72. Z. Tomac, the aforementioned work, pp. 69-73.
73. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2227, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, OG East Posavina, class: 8/92-01, No. OG-01-92-192/2, Slavonski Brod, May 21, 1992, COMMAND; Ibid., inv. No .2-2650, Command of the 5th Corps, March 29, 1992, Stara Gradiska — to the Command of the 30th Partisan Division. In March 1992, parts of the 108th Brigade of the ZNG were found in the area of Bosanski Brod, deployed in the surrounding villages around this city (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2650, Command of the 5th Corps, March 29, 1992, Stara Gradiska — to the Command of the 30th Partisan Division).
74. Ibid. The tasks of the IZM East, pursuant to that order, were: “- Integrate the artillery units added to the OG, to be active in the eastern sector of the system: 2. MAD (2 batteries of howitzers 152, squad NORA) battery of self-propelling howitzers SOI ‘GVOZIKE’, Howitzer platoon 203 mm; Anti-tank platoon; Liaise with the ODZAK Brigade, Samac Brigade, our forces in MODRICA, GRADACAC, ORASJE, as well as the units of the HV to be active or already active in the eastern sector (139th Brigade, 157th Brigade, TG 123). Ensure maximum monitoring of the situation on the frontline, and coordinate and actively support our forces, constantly upset the enemy by firing on the enemy strongholds, for instance, artillery units, command places, warehouses, and communications” (Ibid.).
75. Ibid. In relation to this, this order stated as follows: “Proceed immediately with establishment of the IZM-East. The Activity of the IZM-East from the moment of establishment, 24 hours a day until the withdrawal of this command. The organization and the working schedule shall be regulated in a separate command” (Ibid.).
76. Ibid. “The person in charge of establishment and work of the IZM-East is the commander of the 2nd MAD [motorized artillery division — note by the author] OZ [Operational Zone — note by the author] of Osijek, who shall also be the commander to the added units and for his work he shall report to the commander of the OG and the head of artillery of the OG” (Ibid.).
77. Ibid. “For the successful work of the IZM-East use the officer staff from the Command of the 2nd MAD, OG and the 108th Brigade of the ZNG. Establish communications with the equipment from the 2nd MAD, OG, and Commanding Battery of the 108th Brigade of the ZNG” (Ibid.).
78. Ibid. “all the artillery units of the OG are logistically relying on the brigades on whose areas of responsibility they are deployed, and in terms of command, they rely on the IZM-East. For the logistics problems not resolved in the brigade on whose area the units are deployed, rely on the OG and the logistics of the 108th Brigade of the ZNG”. The brigades which before the order had disposed of the “subordinate units shall be obligated to inform the units of this command immediately and place them to the availability to the OG, that is, IZM East, with the overall quantity of the artillery ammunition they have available” (Ibid. ).
79. Ibid. IZM East, that is, the commander of the 2nd MAD, Jozic, was obligated to proceed immediately “with deployment of the artillery units as follows: - VP of the first howitzer battery, 2nd MAD, in the area of s. STITAR with the sector of activity from s. LEPENICA to the east, to s. G. SLATINA to the west. - VP squad NORA in the area of s. STITAR with the sector of activity from s. GORICE to the east, to s. GORNJI ZABAR to the west. - VP howitzer platoon 203 mm in the area of s. SIKIREVCI with the sector of activity from s. MILOSEVAC to the west (elevated point 94), to s. ZASJEK (trigonometric mark 86). - The third howitzer battery of the 2nd MAD initially needs to be divided into two fire platoons, as follows: VP of the first platoon in the area of s. JARUGE with the sector of activity s. MILOSEVAC to the west (elevated point 94) to s. BATKUSE (trigonometric mark 87) to the east. VP of the second platoon in the area of s. POTOCANI. The weapons need to be deployed in three directions, as follows: towards s. KRUSKOVO POLJE, VISIBABA Hill, (trigonometric mark 292), and BETNJA MALA (elevated point 122). - VP of the battery SOI ‘GVOZIKA’ in the area of s. POTOCANI with the semi-circular activity from BOS. SAMAC to the east to DOBRA VODA (trigonometric mark 362) to the west. - The anti-tank platoon to be used to close down technical directions along the Bosna river valley towards Modrica, and from the direction of DOBRINJE towards MODRICA, depending on the development of the situation at the frontline” (Ibid.).
80. Ibid. “The task of the artillery of the 139th Brigade is to withdraw the howitzers of the 122 mm M 38 from the VP in the area of s. JARUGE and thus liberate the area of the VP for taking by way of the platoon of the third battery of the 2nd MAD. To use the battery MB 120 mm to take the VP in the broader area of SLAVONSKI SAMAC with the tasks of covering with artillery fire of the s. ODMUT, s. TURSINOVAC, s. TISINA, BOSANSKI SAMAC. This unit is obligated to use the radio connection directly to link to the IZM East, and upon their request to open fire. Ensure 1.5 BH of ammunition for the M.B. battery for execution of the task. The other artillery units from the mother composition of the 139th Brigade, just like any added units which are not exempted in this command from the 139th Brigade to be used in the directions of activity of the Brigade. The plan of use with the working map of the artillery on the map 1 : 50,000, as well as the status of equipment and artillery ammunition available to be supplied to the head of the artillery of OG East Posavina” (Ibid.).
81. Ibid. “All the units from autonomous battalions up to brigades active on the eastern part of the responsibility of the OG are obligated to honour this command and invest maximum effort and all the material and technical resources to implement it as soon as possible” (Ibid.).
82. Ibid. The execution of that order was supposed to start “immediately, and no later by 12:00 hours of May 23, 1992, it was supposed to be executed in full” (Ibid.).
83. Ibid. In relation to this, the end of the order stated: “Written reporting required to the command of the OG on a daily basis by 20:00 hours, on the degree of execution, and on May 23, 1992, by 15:00 hours report to be submitted on the things executed”. (Ibid.). Colonel Stefanek submitted the aforementioned order to the Osijek Operational Zone (“attn. General Lucic)”, to the 100th and 157th Brigade of the Croatian Army, then to the TG of the 123rd Brigade of the Croatian Army, to the 2nd MAD OZ Osijek, as well as to the following HVO brigades: Odzak, Samac, Modrica, Gradacac, and Orasje ones (Ibid.).
84. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2225, Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, No. 06-05/92, /Slavonski Brod/, May 16, 1992 — to the Bosanski Brod Brigade and others.
85. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2226, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, Operational Group of East Posavina, class: 8/92-01, no: OG-01-92-199/2, Slavonski Brod, May 20, 1992, - to all the members of the OG. This order determined: the number (two persons each), the requirements to be met by the candidates (telecommunications or electronic qualifications), place (Zagreb), time of duration (3-5 days), conditions of accommodation, method of application, etc.
86. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2228, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, OG /Operational Group/ “East Posavina”, class: 8/92-01, no. OG-01-92-107/21, Slavonski Brod, May 21, 1992 — to the HVO of Bosanski Brod and others. This order determined the manner of appointment of the couriers: “Appointment of the courier is to be done in an ORDER [capitals in the original — note by the author], with certification of the commander of the brigade, and he needs to immediately report to the Operational Group with the ORDER [capitals in the original — note by the author] for appointment, so that we could establish the courier link” (Ibid.).
87. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2229, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, OG /Operational Group/ “East Posavina”, class: 035-01/92-1, no. OG-01-92-299/1, Slavonski Brod, May 24, 1992 — to the commanders: 108th Brigade of the HV, and others.
88. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2230, Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina, class: 8/92-01, no. BP-01/92-13, Slavonski Brod, May 25, 1992 — to the 107th Brigade of the HVO Gradacac. Speaking about the Greater Serbia aggressor, Colonel Stefanek stated as follows: “The enemy is using the forces of the 17th K [17th Corps of the JNA - note by the author], Chetnik volunteer formations and local Serb population, formed in Tactical Group 17 (TG-17), making efforts to occupy Modrica and merge with the forces on the occupied territory of Bosanski Samac and thus, relying on the Bosna river, separate our forces in the depth of the liberated territory of Odzak and the Republic of Croatia, and then occupy the territory of the Gradacac and Brcko municipalities. It has drawn out the parts of the TG-11 that have suffered major loss on the territory of Bosanski Brod via Podnovlje across the Bosna river, it has regrouped the forces for activity from the southern direction towards Modrica” (Ibid.).
89. Ibid. The 107th Brigade of the HVO Gradacac “organizes circular defence of the territory by relying on the territory where the Croatian and Muslim population is gravitating, in collaboration with the part of forces of the 104 Brigade Modrica, and the 108th Brigade Brcko” (Ibid.).
90. Ibid. The order stated: “In the area of s. Zivkovo Polje, s. Cadrak, s. Kornica — 104th Brigade of the HVO, and from the eastern side of the territory Gradacac, forces of the 108th Brigade of the HVO — Brcko, on the northern part of the territory the occupied parts of the Bosanski Samac municipality” (Ibid.).
91. Ibid. To this aim, Colonel Safranek decided “By energetic activity, launch an attack and rule the area of s. Donji Skugric and on the reached line determine the defence cooperation with the forces of the 104th Brigade of the HVO in s. Zivkovo Polje. In the area of s. Krusevica and s. Samarevac, disarm the enemy forces. At other lines of the area of responsibility, organize strong defence” (Ibid.). Colonel Safranek also determined the time of the attack preparedness: May 27, 1992 at 7:00 hours.
92.. Ibid. In relation to this, Colonel Safranek specified the following tasks: “5.1. — With a part of forces of the 197th Brigade of the HVO, from the lines possessed, use energetic activity to conduct the task: Rule the area of s. Borovo Polje and s. Donji Skugrici (including church tt-149) and place under control the broader area of the crossroads, and determine defence on the reached lines. 5.2. — Use part of the forces to neutralize the enemy in the area of s. Krusevica and s. Samarevac by disarming or energetic activity and prevent its merger with the majority of the forces” (Ibid.).
93. Ibid. In all the units, there was a need “to form the anti-tank groups with arms for close anti-tank combat. On all directions, on favourable and tank-passable directions, use engineering units to arrange the defence line using maximum obstacles (hedgehogs, tetrahedrons), in combination with the anti-tank mines, and defend the obstacles” (Ibid.). “The dynamic of activity” was to be “coordinated with part of the forces of the 104th Brigade of the HVO in the area of s. Zivkovo Polje” (Ibid.).
94. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2232, Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina, class: 035-01/92-01, no. BP-01/92-37, Slavonski Brod, June 13, 1992 — to the 101st HVO Brigade and others.
95. AIIZ, inv. No. 2699.
96. ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, Sarajevo 2001, pp. 97-98; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 155; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2962, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Headquarters of the HVO Novi Travnik, no. 96, June 11, 1992 — to the 6th Battalion of the 1st A Brigade Zagreb; ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraphs 77, 83, and 91.
97. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 338-340, 346, and 417-419. In fierce multi-month battles in this area, numerous units of the Croatian Army were engaged, in particular the 108th Brigade, as well as other strong combat groups, including the Military Police from the composition of the 68th Battalion of the Osijek Military Police. These military and police forces, in addition to the area of Slavonski Brod, were also active in the area of Bosnian Posavina, where they successfully cooperated and instructed “the military police units of the HVO under formation” (Ibid., pp. 418-419). On June 28, 1992, the Army of SR Yugoslavia and the Serb collaborationist forces broke through a narrow corridor near Brdsko. In spite of that, the defenders were still holding some significant parts of Posavina, including Bosanski Brod and a broad belt of villages in front of it, as well as the bridgehead in Orasje. Croatian Army General Stipetic was appointed commander of the Slavonian frontline. He was assigned by general Tus, chief of staff of the General Headquarters of the Croatian Army with the task to stop withdrawal of the units of the Operational Group of East Posavina from Doboj towards Derventa and Bosanski Brod, and to organize defence at the reached lines (Ibid., pp.338-340). In spite of a number of organizational and logistical problems, the defence was stabilized at the line of Obodski Channel — Ukrina River — Korace village, where some fierce fighting lasted for three months. At this front, a number of brigades of the Croatian Army were symbolically engaged, except for the 108th, which acted all the time. From mid-August, other units of the Croatian Army were engaged too, that is, stronger combat groups (Ibid.). After the breaking of the Serb offensive, the conditions were created for a counterattack, the holder of which was to be the 108th Brigade, which was rested and staffed as per the plan to that goal in the second half of September. Along with this brigade, it was also anticipated to engage the 103rd (Derventa) and 101st (Bosanski Brod) Brigade of the HVO, which were also rested and partially filled in with new staff. In addition, the first battalion of the 3rd Guardian Brigade was also in reserve. In that way, in the assessment of general Martin Spegelj, “a very favourable relation of forces was created and one could objectively count on success” (Ibid., pp. 338-339). However, parts of the 3rd A Brigade (3rd Brigade of the ZNG) suddenly left the battlefield before the Serb forces had perforated a narrow corridor near Brcko — on June 28, 1992 (Ibid., p. 339).
98. Ibid., p. 413; Z. Tomac, the aforementioned work, pp. 36-37. In essence, this involves concretization of the territorial division, that is, on the Serbo-Croatian division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by which the Greater Serbia aggressor had received a broad corridor through Northern Bosnia and a significant part of the Bosnian Posavina in exchange for the area of the Kupres Plateau and the Neretva valley.
99. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 413.
100. Ibid., pp. 415-418.
101. Ibid., pp. 338-340.
102. Ibid. The issue of “sudden” pulling out of the Croatian Army, that is, defection, was tried to be detected by general Martin Spegelj, who was personally, on several occasions, in the capacity of the chief inspector of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, inspecting in Bosnian Posavina (a whole inspection team was there for a month). Just like the other associates from the inspection team, he always came to the conclusion that this events “were interfered with by someone invisible, that the strings are pulled from somewhere afar, from the head of an omnipotent person”. Speaking about that, he claims that “a number of facts remains completely non- interpretable”. In relation to this, he presents a number of such facts, such as, among other things: parts of the 3A Brigade, even before the Serb forces had perforated the narrow corridor near Brcko, on June 28, 1992, had left the battlefield near Modrica and arbitrarily left to Osijek, stating that they only wanted to go to the 160th Brigade, which, according to Martin Spegelj, is defection; parts of some gathered brigades of the Croatian Army (2nd, 105th, 111th, 127th and 136th), when the advancing of the Serb forces was stopped after the perforation of the corridor and when in late September the basis was created “for liberation of Posavina and for offensive towards Doboj”, did not cross the Sava “or they did, but a couple of days later pulled out into Slavonski Brod, without getting involved in the final defence”; after the Command of the Slavonian frontline, headed by General Stipetic, intervened and ordered that three brigades (the 108th of the Croatian Army and the 101st and 103rd of the Croatian Defence Council) should return to Bosanski Brod, in spite of the promise, the Command of the 108th Brigade did not do so; the pulling down of the bridge between two cities (Bosanski Brod and Slavonski Brod) by the chiefs of staff of the engineering forces of the 157th and 108th Brigade of the Croatian Army (Stokovic and Tomakic), with knowledge and assistance of the special Police from Slavonski Brod, in spite of the effort by the Command of the Slavonian Frontline to preserve the bridge across the Sava between the two cities at any price. In the phase of withdrawal of forces from Doboj and attempt to organize the defence at the access roads to Derventa and Brod, generals Slobodan Praljak and Pavao Miljevac appeared at the frontline, as well as many others, spreading defeatism, thereby causing the departure of the Croatian Army from the frontline. This also included the involvement of general Cermak, and the political leadership of Slavonski Brod, with mayor Meter (Ibid., p. 340). Based on the aforementioned and other facts, generals Martin Spegelj and Petar Stipetic concluded that withdrawal of the units from Bosanski Brod “was an act of open diversion and treason”, and that “the main reasons for the breakdown were the undefined and unclear positions of the official policy about engagement of the HV units in Bosnian Posavina”. Such a conclusion, substantiated with data, was communicated independently both in writing and verbally, to President Tudjman and defence minister Susak, and surrendered the part of the documentation to the Office for Protection of the Constitutional Order, too. Tudjman formally formed the Commission to allegedly investigate the reasons for the fall of Posavina, “but this was a move as an attempt to pacify the public” (Ibid., pp. 340-341). Thus, the “defenders of Posavina”, according to Martin Spegelj, not knowing that all had been agreed, were dying “in a battle lost in advance, and to make things even weirder, it is very possible that the agreement is not either known to the Chetniks, who are also suffering major losses” (Ibid., p. 338).
103. Ibid., pp. 415-418. In explanation of the phenomenon of panic, in the capacity of the main inspector of the Ministry of Defence of Croatia, where on July 16 and 17, 1992, he visited Slavonski Brod and Bosanski Brod, Martin Spegelj got a hold of a number of data “that certain political persons from Zagreb were coming and explaining that it is not either possible or needed to hold Bosnian Posavina” (Ibid., p. 414). It is obvious, claims general Spegelj, that someone was commanding “the abandoning of Derventa and other positions in Bosnian Posavina” (Ibid., p. 415). Prof. Dr. Zdravko Tomac claims that the military leadership from Zagreb was insisting, “threatening by defection and arrests”, that Croatian Army be withdrawn from Bosnian Posavina. In this way, according to him, “2,600 people were withdrawn and what had been taken through much strife was surrendered to the enemy without combat” (Z. Tomac, the aforementioned work, pp. 69-73). The order on the withdrawal of the Croatian Army from Bosanski Brod, claims Tomac, was executed secretly. In relation to this, he mentions that “the fall of Bosanski Brod, or the loss of the major part of Bosnian Posavina is not the result of a military defeat but the consequence of a command for withdrawal and insufficient support, which was sometimes even an obstruction for those who were fighting there” (Ibid.).
104. AIIZ, 2-1888, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, Military Post no. 30033, No. 1812/92, Sisak, October 3, 1992, COMMAND; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2145, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters, Command of OZ Zagreb, 55th LTRD PZO, no. 3091/92, Sisak, November 4, 1992, COMMAND.
105. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23; ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, Sarajevo 2001, p. 98.
106. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-252, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prozor Municipality, Forum of the “Expelled” Muslim Organizations, no. 02-11/92, Jablanica, November 14, 1992, Information on the situation in the Prozor Municipality and the position of the Muslim people in relation to the events of October 23 and 24, 1992; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-926, Information on the situation in the Prozor Municipality before and after the brutal aggression by the HVO and HV dated October 23/24, 1992, and the position of the Muslim people; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-253, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, War Presidency, Municipal Commission for Gathering of Facts on War Crimes, Prozor Municipal Council, no. 1-01-127/93, August 20, 1993, Information on the gathered facts on war crimes, committed against the Muslims by the members of the HV-HVO (Ustashas) on the territory of the Prozor Municipality; ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, pp. 95-96. The attack on Prozor was commanded by Colonel Siljeg. Then the city and the surroundings were unmercifully shelled with all the available Croatian heavy artillery and T-53 tanks. On September 25, 1992, Colonel Siljeg (an active officer of the JNA) issued the order to the HVO of Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, and Prozor, (“STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL, MILITARY SECRET”), which came “into effect IMMEDIATELY”, on “formation of the units for attack activities”: “1. At the level of municipal headquarters of the HVO of Bugojno, G. Vakuf, Prozor, form the units for attack activities at the level of the HVO municipal headquarters — Brigades, and for making interventions on the sensitive directions with 150-200 of manpower. 2. The aforementioned formations need to be formed from experienced soldiers, equip them with a necessary communications equipment, arms for PP and POB, support equipment (MB 60 and MB 82 mm), anti-aircraft machine guns and nitro-glycerine guns, vehicles for transportation, and at least three combat sets of ammunition for each piece of weapons. 3. After receipt of this command, immediately proceed with formation of the units, and training the personnel for attack actions (exercises by units up to platoons), and be ready to exercise tasks in the next 7 to 10 days. 4. Ensure that the manpower should be gathered on a single place and always ready for combat actions upon command. 5. In relation to this command and the dynamics of its implementation, send regular daily reports” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1750, HVO, Command of the OZ S/H, no.: 27/92, September 25, 1992 — to the Headquarters of HVO of Bugojno, G. Vakuf, Prozor). Colonel Siljeg issued the aforementioned command “based on the order of the GS HVO, no. 01-2173/92, dated September 21, 1992, in order to ensure special units for attack actions at the level of the municipal headquarters of the HVO — Brigades, and for making interventions on the sensitive directions” (Ibid.). From August 31, 1992, when the operational zones of the HVO of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia were formed, he was directing the command of the Operational Zone of the Northwest Herzegovina, seated in Tomislavgrad. This command included the areas of the municipalities: Posusje, Livno, Duvno — Tomislavgrad, Kupres, Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno, Jablanica, and Konjic (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2113, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters, strictly confidential, no.: 01-2054/92, Formation of Operational Zones, COMMAND.
107. Ibid. In the Operational zone of responsibility of Northwest Herzegovina, seated in Tomislavgrad, under the direct command of Colonel Siljeg, six brigades of the Croatian Defence Council were active: 1. Herceg Stjepan — in the areas of Konjic and Jablanica; 2. Eugen Kvaternik — in the area of Bugojno; 3. Ante Starcevic — in the area of Gornji Vakuf; 4. Kralj Tomislav — in the area of Tomislavgrad; 5. Petar Kresimir IV — in the area of Livno, and 6. Rama — in the area of Prozor. 7. 5th Brigade Posusje — in the area of Posusje (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1751, Command of the OZ S/ZH, no. 59/92, October 6, 1992 — to the Brigades and Municipal Headquarters of the HVO of OZ Northwest Herzegovina; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2947, Main Headquarters of the HVO HZ HB, strictly confidential, no. 01-2762/92, Mostar, December 15, 1992 — to the President of the Department of Defence of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Report for period from April 14, 1992, until December 15, 1992; Slobodna Bosna, February 6, 1999. On the eve of the attack on Prozor, on October 22, 1992, the HVO units in Jablanica were risen “into full combat preparedness, they distributed the arms and equipment”, and “they were additionally strengthened and armed with light and heavy weapons”. The road to Prozor was also blocked (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1758, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal Headquarters of Jablanica, no. 252/92, Jablanica, October 22, 1992, REPORT). On the same day, brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, commander of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council, issued the order (coded — urgent) to the subordinated units (“Command for further actions”), ordering reinforcement of the blockade “of all the roads leading to Novi Travnik”, and “all the transports of equipment and manpower of the TO towards N. Travnik needs to be subjected to force and broken down or detained”. Blaskic was, among other things, ordered to use force wherever possible to resolve situations (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1759, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, GS HVO, strictly confidential, no. 22-10/92, Mostar, October 22, 1992, COMMAND FOR FURGTHER ACTION; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1760, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal Headquarters of Donji Vakuf, no: 774/92, October 23, 1992 — to the Command of the OZ Central Bosnia, Vitez and Busovaca, Attn. Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, Attn. Dario Kordic). All the transports of equipment, material and technical resources and manpower of the Territorial Defence “travelling towards Novi Travnik were blocked” on October 23, 1992. The situation on the territory of the Gornji Vakuf municipality, on that day “was tense but under control” (AIIZ; inv. No. 2-1760, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal Headquarters of Gornji Vakuf, No. 774/92, October 23, 1992 - to the Command of the OZ Central Bosnia, Vitez and Busovaca, Attn. Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, Attn. Dario Kordic).
108. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-252, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prozor Municipality, Forum of the “Expelled” Muslim Organizations, no. 02-11/92, Jablanica, November 14, 1992, Information on the situation in the Prozor Municipality and the position of the Muslim people in relation to the events of October 23 and 24, 1992; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-926, Information on the situation in the Prozor Municipality before and after the brutal aggression by the HVO and HV dated October 23/24, 1992, and the position of the Muslim people; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-253, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, War Presidency, Municipal Commission for Gathering of Facts on War Crimes, Prozor Municipal Council, no. 1-01- 127/93, August 20, 1993, Information on the gathered facts on war crimes, committed against the Muslims by the members of the HV-HVO (Ustashas) on the territory of the Prozor Municipality; ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, pp. 94-95; M. Hero, PROZOR 1992-1995, Hronika zlocina, Sarajevo 2003, pp. 33,39, and 175; Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23; Slobodna Bosna, February 6, 1999, THE SILJEG CASE; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, pp. 52, and 155. With the Tigers, an anti-terrorist unit of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia, there arrived 11 tanks too.
109. Ibid.; AIIZ, inv. No. 2091-2095. On that occasion, in the organized attack over 100, mainly civilians, were killed, then numerous homes were burned down and plundered, and almost the whole Bosniak population was expelled and detained in concentration camps. Then, according to Colonel Bob Stewart, “the Croatian patrols were detaining and killing everything they ran onto” (Ibid.).
110. Ibid.; ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, pp. 95-96; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 155. The presence of the Croatian Army at Gornji Vakuf was also confirmed by the commander of the Operational Zone for Northwest Herzegovina Zeljko Siljeg, who, in the negotiations after the failed attack on the city, openly said that the same units of the Croatian Army were involved in the attack on Gornji Vakuf as those attacking Prozor (Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23; ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, pp. 95-96.
111. REZOLUCIJE…, pp. 31-32.
112. S. Cekic — M. Kreso — B. Macic, GENOCID U SREBRENICI, “SIGURNOJ ZONI” UJEDINJENIH NACIJA, JULA 1995, Sarajevo 2000, pp. 459-464.
113. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23; ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, pp. 95-96; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 155. On January 26, 1993, brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council, issued the order (“MILITARY SECRET, STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL”), to colonels Dario Kordic and Tihomir Blaskic on the full combat preparedness of the units, that is, on the preparedness of the units for the attacks against the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is interesting to point out that this order under count 1 states that “the defence line towards the Chetniks needs to be weakened to the minimum level” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2272, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters of HVO HZ HB, Mostar, January 26, 1993 — to the OZ S/B [Central Bosnia Operational Zone — note by the author], IZM Vitez, attn. Colonel Dario Kordic, attn. Colonel Tihomir Blaskic).
114. ZLOCINI U VRBANJI JULA 1993, p. 96; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 155; Slobodna Bosna, February 6, 1999.
115. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2966, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Defence Department, Main Headquarters of the HVO, no. 09-451/93, Mostar, March 12, 1993 — to the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia, Police Administration of Zagreb. On March 12, 1993, Colonel Ivica Primorac, assistant chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the HVO for professional army, approached the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia (Police Administration of Zagreb) with the request to approve “issuance of citizenship certificates to the members of the Croatian Army, units for special purposes Ludvig Pavlovic. PPN (Special Purpose Unit) Ludvig Pavlovic is currently on the field in Herzegovina, and they urgently need the citizenship certificates in order to regulate the status in the Croatian Army” (Ibid.).
116. S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 156.
117. AIIZ, inv. No. 2699. From then, “demonstration of force has been permanently present, as well as shooting into buildings from infantry arms” in the area of Stolac…. Since the arrival of the Croatian Army units, this area is constantly subject to “playing Ustasha songs through loudspeakers, and the person most distinguished in this is Marina (son of Niko) Prce, residing in the village of Jasoc, Stolac Municipality. It has often happened that, in a drunken state, the mentioned Prce would insult the Muslims in the city, shoot from automatic guns, and arrested and brought Muslims into the Command of the HVO…” (Ibid.).
128. AIIZ, inv. No. 2091-2095; M. Hero, the aforementioned work, pp. 86, 134, and 141-142. The attack on the village of Toscanica was conducted by the Croatian Army and the HVO from thee directions: Grevici, Lizoperci, and Hudutsko, firing from all the available infantry arms and weapons (anti-aircraft machine guns, submachine gun M-84, submachine gun M-53, automatic rifle guns, sniper guns), with artillery support (60 and 82 mm mortars). The aggressor solders wore emblems of the HVO and the marks with the letter “U” on their caps, and their uniform was of three different colours (multi-colour, grey, and black). On that occasion, several civilians were killed (the majority had escaped), and many houses were plundered and put to fire. In Parcani, civilians were used as “live shields”. In Paros, also, several civilians were killed (Ibid.).
119. AIIZ, inv. No. 2700 and 2703; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2293, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, AR BiH — 4th Corps, Security Body, Ministry of Interior, RO SDB Jablanica, Jablanica, May 7, 1993 — N SVK OS R BiH and others; ICTY, Case: No. IT-98-34-I, paragraph 9. Attacking the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the solders of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council destroyed everything on their way. They were wearing black uniforms, with black bands around their heads, with the letter “U”, and on one shoulder a black band, with a twice larger letter “U”, with a dead man’s skull in the middle of that letter. On their sleeves some had the marking of HV and HOS, and some the HVO one. One member of the Croatian Army was recognized by Anica Kladusak, from Sovici — his name was Branko, from Zagreb (she claims that he used to live at Crnomerec) — AIIZ, inv. No. 2700 and 2703.
120. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15 and 23; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2153, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4th Corps, Security Sector, official note, August 2 and 3, 1993; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 155; ICTY, Case: No. IT-98-34-T, paragraph 10. The participation of Tigers in the attack on the area around Jablanica was proven by finding a corpse of a soldier, with his accreditation having the logo of the unit. The soldier’s name was Tomislav Bajic, and his accreditation had the seal of the “Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia — Main Headquarters of the Special Forces” (Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23). Pursuant to the Hague indictments against Mladen Naletilic and Vinko Martinovic — the goal of this offensive — “of the campaigning for the so-called ‘ethnic cleansing’ by the forces of the HV and HVO, was to effect control over the municipalities of Mostar, Jablanica, and other municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to force the Bosnian-Muslim population to leave these areas, that is, significant reduction and conquering of that part of the population. The resources used for this purpose include killing, beating, torturing, expulsions from homes, devastation of the cultural and religious heritage, plundering, denying of the basic civic and human rights, and mass persecutions, detaining and arresting, and all of this was done based on the systematic discrimination pattern on an ethnic basis. Resulting from this campaign, dozens of thousands of the Bosnian Muslims left Mostar, Jablanica and other municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The traditional ethnic diversity of these municipalities was almost completely eliminated, and ethnically cleansed institutions and society were imposed on these territories” (ICTY, Case: No. IT-98-34-I, paragraph 11).
121. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2123, COMMUNIQUE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, May 13, 1993. Due to the armed aggression against its territory, on May 13, 1993, Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed a protest against the Republic of Croatia, demanding an unconditional suspension of the attacks and withdrawal of its units from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among other things, it was pointed out that the Government shall be “forced to approach the international community and demand protection from the aggression” (ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 87).
122. RAT…, pp. 129, 134–135. Franjo Tudjman claimed that in the spring time of 1993, the Croatian Army clashed with the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, allegedly because the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time wanted to push out to the sea and take Ploce and the southern part of Croatia up to Neum. Speaking about this, general Martin Spegelj claimed that “a regular corporal knows that at the time the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was in a terrible situation, and that it did not even occur to it to even possibly undertake something like that. In fact, with this myth Tudjman wanted to justify the participation of the Croatian army and the HVO in the fight against the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state” (RAT…, pp. 235).
123. ICTY, Case: No. It-95-14-T. paragraphs 77, 83, and 85.
124. Ibid., paragraphs 86, 93, and 94; M. Hero, the aforementioned work, pp. 77, and 80-82. Stating the certain documents speak “about significant presence” of the Croatian Army, the ICTY has established that these documents also offer “some specific data on the units used, that is, on the equipment and armament available to those units” (Ibid.).
125. S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 158.
126. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 19i94, pp. 15, and 23; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2294, Participation of the HV/Croatian Army/ on the Bosnian-Herzegovina frontline and other forms of support from the Republic of Croatia; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2997, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Brigade Dr. Ante Starcevic, Uskoplje, no. 1-5/1-351/93, November 5, 1993 — Military District of Tomislavgrad, EXTRAORDINARY REPORT; M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 336; Shorthand transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman, Janko Bobetko, Imre Agotic, Josip Lucic, and Gojko Susak, at the Presidential Courts, on October 22, 1993, Dani, October 25, 2002, p. 23.
127. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2999, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, GS HVO, no. 02-2/1-01, 1573/93, Mostar, July 24, 1993 — to the President of RH Dr. Franjo Tudjman, Minister of Defence of RH Gojko Susak, Chief of Staff of GS HV army general Janko Bobetko; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2153, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4th Corps, Security Sector, official note, August 2 and 3, 1993. The aforementioned forces had most probably arrived upon the request of general major Slobodan Praljak, commander of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council. On July 24, 1993, this general approached to the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia Gojko Susak, and chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of Croatia, army general Janko Bobetko (“DEFENCE MILITARY SECRET, STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL”), with the request for assistance in arms and manpower (“assistance to the HVO units”). In relation to this, general Slobodan Praljak requested as follows: “1. That the HVO area of responsibility, Popovo field to the right — Drenovac to the left (area of responsibility of the TG-2), defended by the HVO with 750 soldiers in one shift, be taken over by the HV units. This is an extremely significant defence sector, because it is via this area that the Serbs have the shortest access to Capljina (Metkovic) and Neum. A better equipped HV unit is also a guarantee for prevention of any Muslim penetration towards Neum (it is not excluded that the aggressor may be joint Serbo-Muslim forces). With this replacement, the HVO receives free forces needed for engagement on other frontlines. 2. For the activity in the direction of G. Vakuf — Bugojno, as an assistance to the forces of Bugojno, we URGENTLY need a small battalion well equipped, with a part of its support (tanks, artillery). 3. For cutting off of the Muslim forces of Jablanica and Mostar in the area of Salakovac-Ravni-Podgorani, we also need a professional battalion. We would attack Jablanica with the HVO forces and a part of the requested units. 4. If possible, we would kindly request that these be the units from the 4th and 5th Guardian Brigade of the HV” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2999, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, GS HVO, no. 02-2/1-01, 1573/93, Mostar, July 24, 1993 — to the President of RH Dr. Franjo Tudjman, Minister of Defence of RH Gojko Susak, Chief of Staff of GS HV army general Janko Bobetko).
128. S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 155.
129. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 336; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2233, 60th Autonomous Battalion of the HV [Croatian Army] Ludvig Pavlovic , V. P. 3280 Vrgorac, no. 430/41-0981/93, Vrgorac, September 11, 1993, CERTIFICATE; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2233A, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Special Purpose Unit Ludvig Pavlovic, no. 430/41-0981/93, Capljina, September 11, 1993, CERTIFICATE; Shorthand Transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman, Janko Bobetko, Imre Agotic, Josip Lucic, and Gojko Susak, at the Presidential Court on October 22, 1993, Dani, October 25, 2002, p. 23. In the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 60th Autonomous Battalion of the Croatian Army Ludvig Pavlovic took part too, as a special purpose unit, seated in Vrgorac, [that is, Capljina]. The commander of that unit in September 1993 was Colonel Dragan Curcic (AIIZ, inv. Nos. 2-2233-2233A). In the documents available, Colonel Dragan Curcic also appears as the commander of the 60th Autonomous Battalion of the Croatian Army Ludvig Pavlovic, seated in Vrgorac, and as the commander of the Special Purpose Unit Ludvig Pavlovic, seated in Capljina. In that capacity, on September 11, 1993, he issued two CERTIFICATES on the membership of that unit, certifying that Dalibor (son of Bozo) Barusic (born in Tuzla on July 5, 1973), “residing in Zagreb — Novi Zagreb Municipality”, is the members of that “unit, where he performs the duty of soldier”, with the same number and date, but with different place of seat or issuance (Vrgorac and Capljina), and with different format, size and contents of the text on the seal. On one certificate, the seal of the round shape contains the text: “MILITARY POST No. 3280 VRGORAC”, and the other states: “REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, CROATIAN COMMUNITY OF HERZEG-BOSNIA, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE, P.P.N. /Special Purpose Unit — note by S.C./ LUDVIG PAVLOVIC, CAPLJINA” (Ibid.). In the assessment of General Martin Spegelj, in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “all paramilitary armies, which were beyond the regular system and under direct command of Minister Susak” were also active against the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ibid., p. 327). In relation to this, he claims that during 1993, particularly in the fall, “whole units or their selected parts, that is, military groups under direct control of minister Susak which were not in the legal military system passed on into Bosnia and Herzegovina, but a chaos was created due to the absolutely incompetent commanding. A defeat is threatening in the conflict with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in spite of the open cooperation between the HVO and the Serb army, so it becomes ultimately necessary to set up a more efficient commanding” (Ibid., p. 362).
130. Ibid. In quoting the brigades of the Croatian Army and the numbers of soldiers (“thousands and thousands of HV soldiers”) and officers (“hundreds of the HV officers”), including some “dozen generals”, who had taken their turns “on the Bosnian-Herzegovina frontline”, General Martin Spegelj claims that “officially, the HV had never entered the combat activities on the soil of Bosnia and Herzegovina”. In relation to this, he writes as follows: “I shall always claim — and this is true — that the Croatian state did not commit the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina”, and continues: “The Croatian Parliament, as the only body in charge of the use of army outside the state borders, had never passed a decision on those terms or discussed anything about conquering or adjoining parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Ibid.), p. 336). The aforementioned argumentation based on which general Martin Spegelj seeks to deny the participation of the Republic of Croatia in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is contradictory to the facts presented by himself, by citing the units, the number of soldiers and officers, including the generals of the Croatian Army, who were on the “Bosnia-Herzegovina battlefield”. Further, speaking about Bobetko’s operation on the southern frontline in 1992, he decidedly states that in that operation, among other things, a good part of the Popovo field has been conquered, at which according to him, too (General Martin Spegelj) “it is relevant that this part of our country has been liberated” — Ibid., p. 330. Numerous documents, beginning with the Order by Franjo Tudjman about appointment of general Janko Bobetko the commander of the Southern Frontline undoubtedly suggest about participation of the Republic of Croatia in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is also corroborated by general Martin Spegelj, who, among other things, claims that the political and military leadership of the Republic of Croatia has organized and lead “the war against the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Ibid., pp. 363-364). Unlike general Spegelj, Stjepan Mesic decidedly states that “in the discussions at the Croatian Parliament, it was claimed that there is no cohabitation between the peoples in BiH and that it is best to effect the division” (S. Mesic, PUT U RAT, in: RAT…, p. 36).
131. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2477, Shorthand Transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman, Janko Bobetko, Imre Agotic, Josip Lucic, and Gojko Susak, at the Presidential Court on October 22, 1993, Dani, October 25, 2002, p. 23. Since then, “and further on”, according to Tudjman, “those operations were being conducted, and we had a certain success. But, this task was never completed until the end…”. At the Meeting, Tudjman stated that he heard “that we have been offering assistance, but there are certain objections, too, from that frontline, that according to some persons, in terms of materials and in terms of manpower, there has not been sufficient assistance on our part…” (Ibid.). 132. Ibid.
133. Ibid. An analysis showed that, out of 100 “volunteers”, 22 were originating from Herzegovina. In relation to engagement of the manpower (or, as concealed by the state and military leadership using the expression volunteers) from the Republic of Croatia against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were certain problems, too. The officers who were preparing the volunteers against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina never had “any written instruction and it is very hard to award these people back afterwards…”. Working on this, Josip Lucic also had a statement (written) from one of those volunteers, because he had requested him to “supply him with a written statement”, based on which it can concluded that they (the volunteers) “are not accepted in those terms as they had expected, not that they receive a good welcome, but to receive an organized welcome, so that they know where they were going to be used, so that they know what they were going to do. After some time, on average a month after, I think [that is, Josip Lucic — note by the author] that 50 per cent of the people returned. Because, they said, watch, these are the people that had warred for a long time, for two years…” In late 1993, even the members of the Croatian Army, either born or originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were “not interested in going down there any longer, they are not interested… it seems that interpersonal relationships were spoiled with money” (Ibid.).
134. Ibid. The aforementioned data on this brigade were presented at that meeting by General Janko Bobetko, chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army. However, Minister Gojko Susak denied this. Namely, he replied to Janko Bobetko by claiming that “the whole of the Fifth Brigade had never been in Herzegovina, never more than one thousand men from the Fifth Brigade, when you are mentioning 2,500 people; 2,500 people is the brigade. It was never engaged, it used to be engaged down there at Zemunik for five months, and then it was transferred to Herzegovina, the already tired people. Never more, now [October 22, 1993 — note by S.C.] there are some 700, never were there more than one thousand people from the Fifth Brigade over there, it was not possible” (Ibid.). Upon this, General Janko Bobetko confirmed again that the complete 5th Brigade of the Croatian Army had been in Herzegovina. Minister Gojko Susak then reacted: “Mr. General, please, I did not interrupt you while you were speaking. Even this morning you have ordered Kapular to withdraw the brigade”. Upon this, Janko Bobetko repeated twice; “Not true, not true!” (Ibid.). The further conversation between Gojko Susak and Janko Bobetko went as follows: “SUSAK: ‘General, I would like it if we once listened to the brigade commanders, their version too, because he, when he called me, then he went to see you back. And you told him that you would resolve that evening with the President’. BOBETKO: ‘Please, as I am being talked to, just be equal and open, do not accuse me” (Ibid., p. 24).
135. Ibid. Due to this, according to general Janko Bobetko, “for the next ten days, too” there was the need to “think about bringing in of new forces on the volunteering basis, so they get replaced, because the men can not hold on that long”. Two days before, on October 20, 1993, general Janko Bobetko had discussed this with officer Zarko Tole in Dubrovnik, who had asked for a meeting with Bobetko. Janko Bobetko promised him that “he would be there and that he should come, that a breakdown of the situation is, beginning with the fact that the forces are tired, which is true, and that for the time being he believes that they have no, I mean the Muslims, any fresh forces for any kind of counterattacks, which should not be underestimated, he must be prepared…” (Ibid.).
136. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2982, Mostar, October 13, 1993, no. 02-4/3-01/01-1657/93, THE LIST OF CROATIAN SOLDIERS ON THE LINE OF DEFENCE OF MOSTAR. These are the following soldiers:
1. Zvonko Kristo; 2. Pero Cizic; 3. Dubravko Juginovic;
4. Zdenko Cikoja; 5 Goran Bakac; 6. Dalibor Posavec;
7. Zeljko Burek; 8. Ivica Andric; 9. Stipe Modric;
10. Stjepan Filipovic; 11. Mirko Blazevic; 12. Jozo Bagaric;
13. Zlatko Mesic; 14. Alen Jelic; 15. Zlatko Matkovic;
16. Josip Fenrich; 17. Ivan Matanic; 18. Ivan Boras;
19. Zeljko Pejic; 20. Josip Mamic; 21. Boris Dolic;
22. Predrag Tomas; 23. Marinko Knezovic; 24. Ivan Milicevic;
25. Branko Cikoja; 26. Nikola Vuksic; 27. Marinko Lijak;
28. Novica Pesa; 29. Gojko Cosic; 30. Zeljko Curkovic;
31. Marijan Juric; 32. Stanko Ramljak; 33. Bozidar Delac;
34. Mario Cicak; 35. Mario Cicak: 36. Branko Mikulic;
37. Vinko Topic; 38. Mladen Kraljevic; 39. Zlatko Petranovic;
40. Slavko Topic; 41. Ivan Topic; 42. Mate Pavkovic;
43. Vjekoslav Brekalo; 44. Akif Meskovic; 45. Damir Ormoz;
46. Ivica Radic; 47. Franjo Bura; 48. Senad Avdovic;
49. DEnis Pupic; 50. Ivica Feric; 51. Ante Burilovic;
52. Marko Pranjic; 53. Rade Mikus; 54. Miroslav Nadarevic;
55. Zeljko Mendas; 56. Sinisa Spicko; 57. Vedran Ivelja;
58. Nenad Labrovic; 59. Velimir Ujdur; 60. Drazen Basic;
61. Drazen Ivankovic; 62. Goran Jesic; 63. Darko Prelcec;
64. Goran Trisovic; 65. Marino Silic; 66. Darko Salamun;
67. Davor Klanac; 68. Bozidar Zupanic; 69. Kresimir Pfeifer;
70. Damir Pukljak; 71. Zdravko Tausan; 72. Zlatan Kulenovic;
73. Husein Melic; 74. Milodar Rozic; 75. Ivica Rezek;
76. Franju Djuran; 77. Zoran Sturlic; 78. Davor Azinovic;
79. Kruno Stepanic; 80. Momir Melsa; 81. Nenad Kampic;
82. Jozo Sutic; 83. Ibrahim Bostandzic (Ibid.).
The aforementioned soldiers from the Republic of Croatia received “small certificates that they are members of the first light attack battalion of the Military Police”.
137. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2774, Shorthand Transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman, Janko Bobetko, Imre Agotic, Josip Lucic, and Gojko Susak, at the Presidential Court in Zagreb, on October 22, 1993, Dani, October 25, 2002, p. 23.
138. Ibid. A part of those forces “fell apart.... it was disorganized…”
139. Ibid. The forces of the 3rd and 5th Brigades, according to General Bobetko, did “very much in terms of stabilization of the frontlines at Vakuf and Mostar” (Ibid.).
140. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2996, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, ZP Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor, no. 01/4706, November 4, 1993 — to the Professional Unit Ludvig Pavlovic Capljina. This unit, according to the report by Zeljko Siljeg (commander of the Operational zone of Northeast Herzegovina — Military District Tomislavgrad (IZM Prozor), dated November 4, 1993, “was perfect in executing all of the combat tasks. There were no problems with this unit, both during the execution of the combat tasks, and outside the combat assignments. It was a model unit”. Due to this, claims Colonel Siljeg, the Legion of Honour was needed to him, “on November 12, 1993, until 12:00 hours, for execution of attacking activities” (Ibid.).
141. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2457, Shorthand transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman and Jadranko Prlic, Mate Boban, Slobodan Praljak, and Milivoj Petkovic, in the villa Dalmacija in Split, November 5, 1993, Dani, October 25, 2002, pp. 20, and 26. Indicating upon the taking of Central Bosnia “at any price”, at the time, Franjo Tudjman advised “that they should not move ahead” then (“at the moment”), “for political and military reasons, with the operation near Mostar” (Ibid).
142. Ibid. P. 25. The “Government” of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, headed by Jadranko Prlic, in the spring of 1993, similarly to the Nazi “living space”, in order to “round up the territory”, modelled upon the designer of the concept “of the rounding up of the Croatian state at the expense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, if needed through exchange of population too”, promoted by Franjo Tudjman, determined both proposals and conclusions, “even on displacement of certain brigades from certain areas that would also include displacement of the population from those areas and their concentration on certain directions” for which it insisted that “they can both become and remain Croatian” (254 AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2457, Shorthand transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman and Jadranko Prlic, Mate Boban, Slobodan Praljak, and Milivoj Petkovic, in the villa Dalmacija in Split, November 5, 1993, Dani, October 25, 2002, p. 26). Such Nazi politics and practice were “exclusively pragmatically viewed”, sought by the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia and Jadranko Prlic in person, President of its collaborationist government. In spite of the fact that Jadranko Prlic knew about the effort “that each Croat should remain living where they are”, he claimed that “there is some pragmatics, there is a concentration of powers, there is all the rest…” (Ibid.). 143. Ibid.
144. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 363. The aforementioned Tudjman’s order for formation of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Defence Council was formally pertaining to the redeployment of the aforementioned officers to the Southern Frontline, and actually, on November 8, all of them were supposed to be flown by helicopter to Posusje. Goran Dodig and Josip Juras were appointed for liaison between the Main Headquarters of the HVO and the minister of defence Gojko Susak, and President Franjo Tudjman. This order was read by chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army, general Janko Bobetko, on November 7, 1993, in the War Conference Room, on the first floor of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia in Zagreb. On that day, after the end of the working hours, Janko Bobetko invited the members of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army and the chiefs of staff of all its departments, as well as generals Ante Roso and Miljenko Crnjec, then Ljubo Cesic, Drago Krpina, and Ivan Tolj. Admiral Davorin Domazet was also attending that meeting.
145. Ibid. Uniforms were to be secured fro all the units of the Croatian Army with HVO emblems, “and such identical registration plates for the vehicles” (Ibid.).
146. Ibid. According to the writing of General Martin Spegelj, Grubisic is a butcher by profession, who later was the Consul General of Croatia in Mostar.
147. Ibid.
148. Ibid. Due to the fact that “the legionary sergeant Roso was not up to the task”, as claimed by Martin Spegelj, this operation was personally planned by Janko Bobetko. According to general Martin Spegelj, he was enthusiastic about accepting and executing the political and military plans of President Franjo Tudjman and minister Gojko Susak, and “during the whole 1993, he engaged the HV and its combat machinery in the war for division of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 363).
149. Ibid., pp. 363-364.
150. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1890, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Special Purpose Unit of the Main Headquarters, Battalion Matija Vlacic, Sapjane, Opatija, CLASS:8/92-01/98, NO. 5120-03-912-723, Sapjane, September 9, 1993, CERTIFICATE; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1891, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Special Purpose Unit of the Main Headquarters of HV, Battalion Matija Vlacic, CLASS: 8/92-01/208, NO. 5120-03-912-866, Sapjane, October 15, 1993, CERTIFICATE; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1892, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Special Purpose Unit of the Main Headquarters of HV, Battalion Matija Vlacic, CLASS: 8/92-01/208, NO. 5120-03-912-867, Sapjane, October 15, 1993, CERTIFICATE; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2995, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, ZP Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor, no. 01/4705, November 4, 1993 — Brigade Dr. Ante Starcevic; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2997, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Brigade Dr. Ante Starcevic, Uskoplje — Military District of Tomislavgrad, EXTRAORDINARY REPORT; Ibid. Inv. No. 2-3007, Union of the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of OZ S/ZH, Military District of Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor, No. 01-4769/93, November 8, 1993 — To all the units of ZP OZ S/ZH, Command for Attacking Activity; Ibid., inv. No. 2-3009, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, ZP Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor, No. 01/5384, Prozor, December 5, 1993 — to the Combat Group of the 5th Domobran Regiment Osijek; Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 155. 5th Domobran Regiment from Osijek arrived to the Uskoplje Frontline on November 6, 1993, with 307 soldiers, where it possessed the positions in the area of Mackovac — Potrlica, “organizing active defence in shifts with overall manpower”. It was “successful in executing all of the assigned tasks and contributed to preservation of the reached lines of defence, and with active defence it enabled the units that went into attacks in the attack directions to shift the line of defence in our favour”, states Colonel Zeljko Siljeg (commander of the Military District of Tomislavgrad — IZM Prozor), in his report dated December 5, 1993. (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-3009, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, ZP Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor, No. 01/5384, Prozor, December 5, 1993 — to the Combat Group of the 5th Domobran Regiment Osijek). On November 03/04, 1993, the Domobran Regiment from Vinkovci (11th Domobran Regiment) “was introduced in the area of responsibility of the Brigade Dr. Ante Starcevic”. Its number of manpower then was 182 soldiers (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2997, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Brigade Dr. Ante Starcevic, Uskoplje, no. 1-5/1-351/93, November 5, 1993 — Military District of Tomislavgrad, EXTRAORDINARY REPORT). The aforementioned “manpower from Vinkovci was not welcomed by the local people, they were not adequately accommodated, they slept on the concrete, they did not have breakfast or lunch provided, both at Uzricje and in the city [Gornji Vakuf — note by the author]. …”. Due to this, on November 4, 1993, from the commander of the Brigade Dr. Ante Starcevic, Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, commander of the Operational Zone of Northwest Herzegovina (Military District of Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor) requested to supply him with a “written report by 06:00 hours on November 5, 1993, in relation to the aforementioned” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2995, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, ZP Tomislavgrad, IZM Prozor, no. 01/4705, November 4, 1993 — Brigade Dr. Ante Starcevic). Battalion Matija Vlacic was one of the special, top elite units of the Croatian Army. It was under direct command of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army, and one of its best trained units. Commander of that unit was captain Ante Zoni Maksan. That unit also has its own base in Sapjane, near Opatija, where the soldiers are trained under repressive discipline and psychological training based on the legionary principle. Commander of the base was Captain Mario Juzvisen (AIIZ, inv. Nos. 2-1890, and 2-1892; Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23.
151. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 363-364. According to general Martin Spegelj, that brigade had big losses, “because the HVO Brigade Bruno Busic had not completed its part of the task and secured its passage over the Vrbas river”. In addition to that, Martin Spegelj claims that the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina “has grown into a force that nobody expected it to, and which has messed up many plans. It was backed by the most numerous Bosnian-Herzegovina people — the Muslims (Bosniaks) on whom no one had seriously counted so far either in political negotiations or in the military sense; both Milosevic and Tudjman were convinced that they were dealing with an non-enlightened and politically swayable mass which, under their pressure and squeezed in between the two military forces has to accept what it is left with”. In this way, according to Martin Spegelj, everything “got more complicated and nothing was certain any more; the main players of the war — Milosevic and Tudjman — and their strategy were facing a catastrophe. Finally, the United States of America and some other major forces, a little bit voluntarily but a little bit more by force, stop this mutual butchering, and impose the Dayton agreement. Although it has stopped the combat activity, a stable or just peace is still not in sight” (Ibid., pp. 363-364).
152. Ibid. According to Martin Spegelj, this “was actually fortunate, because an even bigger catastrophe was avoided in that way”.
153. S. Silber, PREVARE, ZABLUDE, ISTINA — Ratni dnevnik 1993, vol. 2, Sarajevo 2001, p. 265.
154. H. Sarinic, the aforementioned work, pp. 54, and 71.
155. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2944, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HVO, no. 02-2/1-01-54/94, Mostar, January 8, 1994 — to the minister of defence of the HR HB, Regular Weekly Report); Oslobodjenje, January 29, 1994, pp. 1, and 3. In late January, five new additional brigades of the Croatian Army and the HVO were also moving in the direction of Prozor.
156. Ibid.; R. Delic, NASTANAK, RAZVOJ I ULOGA ARMIJE REPUBLIKE BOSNE I HERCEGOVINE (manuscript of PhD thesis), Faculty of Political Sciences, Sarajevo 2002, p. 321, note 6.
157. H. Sarinic, the aforementioned work, p. 89; AIIZ, , inv. No. 2-2944, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HVO, no.02-2/1-01-54/94, Mostar, January 8, 1994 — to the minister of defence of the HR HB, Regular Weekly Report); Oslobodjenje, January 29, 1994, pp. 1, and 3; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 153; R. Delic, the aforementioned work, p. 321, note 6. At the negotiations in Geneva, on January 18, 1994, after the completion of the bilateral negotiations with the international intermediaries, the Croatian delegation met the Serbian one. In the discussion with Franjo Tudjman, among other things, Slobodan Milosevic pointed out that “the Muslims want the war. They are concentrating around Travnik, Vitez, and Busovaca, and they are also planning a general attack on Grbavica. I can see that due to this you have transferred five brigades into Bosnia”. Upon which Franjo Tudjman, with a smile, answered: “These are volunteers”, upon which Slobodan Milosevic responded “I am not your UN” (H. Sarinic, the aforementioned work, p. 89).
158. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2946, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, class: 801-02/94-01/04, reg. no. 02-01-94-1, Mostar, April 22, 1994 — to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, the Cabinet; J. Babic, PRVI DOKAZI DA JE HRVATSKA VOJSKA BILA AGRESOR U BIH, Nacional, Zagreb, March 6, 2001, p. 10. Writing about this, Jasna Babic derived a wrong conclusion, claiming that the 175th Brigade is a “blatant example of the so-called parallel command military and political line, which avoided not only the constitutional competency of the Parliament, but also the Main Headquarters of the HV”. It is possible that the Parliament did not pass such a decision, but the forming of this brigade and its participation, as well as of the other Croatian units, in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was with the awareness of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, in particularly of the supreme commander Franjo Tudjman, and his defence minister Gojko Susak.
159. Nacional, March 6, 2001, p. 10. The leaders of the 175th Brigade are still at high positions in Croatia: Primorac is working at the Croatian Military Academy (Croatian Military University), and Miroslav Vidovic is the aide-de-camp of Petar Stipetic, chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia. Primorac sent all the reports on the activity of that brigade to general Janko Bobetko, chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army.
160. Ibid. Pursuant to Susak’s order, the 175th Brigade was to be formed from among the Bosnian-Herzegovina Croats, who had fled to Croatia after January 1, 1992, and who had been treated as defectors. The person in charge of (forced) mobilization was Ivan Andabak, “co-founder and leader of the Siroki Brijeg Convict Battalion”. After the mobilization, the mobilized persons were treated as volunteers in front of the public and the international diplomacy. All the members of the brigade received HVO emblems and classical infantry arms. After the training in Pozega and Delnice, the Brigade (with some 1,500 soldiers) was sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina in December 1993. They were taken to the so-called Southern Frontline in 170 buses. During the crossing of Mt. Vran, the brigade got stuck in the snow, so “they got towed out by the UNPROFOR tug trucks”. On December 31, 1993, it took over the “frontline” in the Uskoplje-Rama area. The first armed attack on the forces of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was conducted by the 175th Brigade on February 24, 1994. In the area of Kicalj, 2 of its members were killed. The second attack was conducted by the Brigade in the area of Zvisca, in April 1994, where 2 members were injured and some 10 were killed, and 5 members of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were detained.
161. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2946, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, class: 801-02/94-01/04, reg. no. 02-01-94-1, Mostar, April 22, 1994 — to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, the Cabinet. Even in the end of April and later on, this Brigade was in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On April 22, 1994, defence minister of the HR HB, Vladimir Soljic, approached the defence minister of the Republic of Croatia, with the proposal to do as follows: 1. To withdraw the 175th Brigade from the territory of HR Herzeg-Bosnia. 2. The withdrawal is to be conducted successively, by May 15, 1994. 3. To enable the members of the 175th Brigade to transfer into one of the Gmtbr [Guardian motorized brigades — note by the author] of the HVO, of their own choice. 4. The material and technical resources of the Brigade to be temporarily stored into the free MO of HR HB” (Ibid.).
162. Nacional, March 6, 2001, p. 10.
163. Ibid; Oslobodjenje, January 29, 1994, pp. 1, and 3. 164. S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, p. 157. In early February 1994, due to the participation of the Croatian Army in the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia was threatened with sanctions from a number of relevant places. Thus, on February 2, the AFP News Agency reported the statement of a Danish ministry official that the ministerial meeting of the European Union in Brussels on February 7 and 8 shall discuss potential sanctions against Croatia due to its military participation in Bosnia. In a TV interview (reported by AFP on February 4), among other things, German chancellor Helmut Kohl sated “that the Croatian leaders have not managed to kept their oath, given when they were recognized by the international community, that they shall not make military interventions in the neighbouring countries. Croatia does not keep its promises. This is a scandal and we have to condemn this in the most serious manner” (K. Begic, the aforementioned work, p. 166). In the communiqué dated February 4, 1994, the Security Council too threatened Croatia with sanctions unless it withdraws its troops from Bosnia, seeking from the secretary general to notify about withdrawal of the Croatian Army and arms from Bosnia within a two-week period (Ibid., pp. 166-167).
165. AIIZ, inv. No. 5360, Testimony by Martin Garrod, pp. 7, and 14; BILTEN FONDA ZA HUMANITARNO PRAVO (hereinafter referred to as: Bilten FHP), no. 15, Belgrade 2001, p. 36, Testimony by general Martin Garrod, witness of prosecution in the Case Kordic and Cerkez — ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14/2-T, February 1, 2000. The members of the EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission), too, confirm the participation of the Croatian Army in the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, A.D., protected witness of the prosecution in the Case Kordic and Cerkez, an EUMM member, on the occasion of return from Zenica to Mostar, from the meeting of all regional centre managers, was stopped with his then regional centre manager Martin Garrod, on the road known as the “Triangle Route”. “We had to pull over from the road, and to let pass a formed military unit. We saw the HV emblems on the vehicles and soldiers. This was for the first time that I personally had a definitive evidence of my observation on the rumours that the HV involvement had been present for months. This was a convoy of significant size. My assessment was… that it had some 50 vehicles and we were stopped on our trip for some 20 minutes, maybe more, and the equipment we saw included artillery, D130-120mm, and a certain number of vehicles with multiple rocket launchers… We saw the HV emblems on the vehicles, including tiger heads. We believed that this was a HV unit from Split… My assessment is that this unit was of the size of battalion or more. Somewhere between 800 and 1,000 people” (Bilten FHP, 15, p. 31, Testimony of A.D., protected witness of the prosecution (he used to be a member of the EUMM — European Union Monitoring Mission between 1993 and 1995) in Case Kordic and Cerkez — ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14/2-T, January 26, 2000). His observations and observations of the regional sector manager were also confirmed by Tim Mike. This report “was dated as January 18… They too saw movements of the HV on the same direction, on the Triangle direction. They reported seeing some 20 vehicles full of soldiers. The registration plates had been removed, but the words Croatian Army were written on the cabin of the vehicles. They reported seeing artillery cannons, 15 well trained HV soldiers, and they assessed them as being officers, and they were standing next to the road and wearing HV emblems… Obviously, a very detailed member of the team noticed here that one was wearing the rank of the Colonel major. They stated that all the vehicles were heading to Prozor” (Ibid.).
166. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2945, RECORD from the joint session of the Presidential Council of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Presidency of the HDZ of BiH and the Executive Council of the HDZ of BiH, Mostar, March 6, 1994.
167. RAT…, p. 91.
168. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 365; K. Begic, the aforementioned work, p. 170; RAT…, p. 91. For more details, see: R. Delic, the aforementioned work, pp. 318-334.
169. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 336.
170. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2947, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters of the HVO of HZ HB, strictly confidential, no. 01-2762/92, Mostar, December 15, 1992 — to the Head of Defence of the HZ HB; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2943, Minutes from the meeting with Mr. minister G. Susak held at the Ministry of Defence on December 22, 1993; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2944, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HVO, no. 02-2/1-01-54/94, Mostar, January 8, 1994 — to the minister of defence of the HR HB, Regular Weekly Report. Prva Linija (no. 7, August 30, 1993), and Bosna (no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15 and 23), claim that all the regular units of the Republic of Croatia and of the Croatian Defence Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina had between 45,000 and 50,000 soldiers. However, this data is not exact, because only the total number of members of the Croatian Defence Council was over 50,000 soldiers. In mid-December 1992, the units of the Croatian Defence Council had 45,000 people (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2947, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters of the HVO of HZ HB, strictly confidential, no. 01-2762/92, Mostar, December 15, 1992 — to the Head of Defence of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia). In December 1993, HVO’s payroll included 42,000 people (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2943, Minutes from the meeting with Mr. minister G. Susak held at the Ministry of Defence on December 22, 1993). In addition to minister Susak, the meeting was attended by the minister of defence of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia Perica Jukic, “with all his assistants”. The aforementioned data was presented by brigadier Crnjec and minister Jukic. At the time, the number of people in the Military District of Mostar amounted to some 16,000-17,000 soldiers, with the anti-aircraft defence, regiment and a tank unit (Ibid.). In January 1994, the number of manpower in the units of the Armed Forces of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia amounted to 52,900 soldiers:
- Military District Vitez with brigades 110th “Usora”, 111th Xp and Brigade Bobovac-Vares: 20,000 soldiers
- Military District Mostar 14,000 soldiers
- Military District Orasje 6,900 soldiers
- Military District Tomislavgrad 12,000 soldiers.
(AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2944, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HVO, no. 02-2/1-01-54/94, Mostar, January 8, 1994 — to the minister of defence of the HR HB, Regular Weekly Report).
171. Oslobodjenje, January 29, 1994, p. 3.
172. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23.
173. M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, pp. 363-364.
174. Ibid. When presenting this claim, general Martin Spegelj states that “all different claims and dry theories are only pushing of dirt under the carpet and creation of mortgage on the state of Croatia”. In relation to this, he writes that the aggression war for occupation of territories in the neighbouring state “is a purposeless, brother-killing war for the Republic of Croatia and the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has caused an exodus of more than 350,000 Bosnia-Herzegovina Croats,…” (Ibid., pp. 364-365). 175. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2474, Shorthand Transcript of the meeting between Franjo Tudjman, Janko Bobetko, Imre Agotic, Josip Lucic, and Gojko Susak, at the Presidential Court on October 22, 1993; Dani, October 25, 2002, p. 24.
176. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2962, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Headquarters of the HVO Novi Travnik, no. 96, June 11, 1992 — to the 6th Battalion of the 1st A Brigade Zagreb; ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraphs 77, 83, and 91.
177. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2991, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of OZ Central Bosnia, IZM Vitez, no: 01-5-547/93, May 21, 1993 — to the GS HVO Mostar.
178. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2955, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council. Command of the OZ Central Bosnia, IZM Vitez, no. 01-3-586/93, March 16, 1993 — to Brigade “Ban Jelacic”, Kiseljak, III Battalion Kresevo.
179. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraphs 77, 83, and 91.
180. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2290, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence Zagreb, class: confidential 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 5120-13-92-78, Zagreb, June 5, 1992 — to the Command of the 101st R Brigade. In that order, Minister Gojko Susak determined that the material and technical resources “and all other that is needed” shall be ensured by the 101st “R” Brigade, then that the aforementioned members of the Croatian Army “shall be entitled to all rights” which they had “had and acquired thus far”. Pursuant to that order, which “came into effect immediately”, the aforementioned members of the Croatian Army are obligated to report to army general Janko Bobetko at the Command of the South Sector — Ploce. The aforementioned order was supplied in code form to the Command of the 101st “R” Brigade and to General Janko Bobetko (Ibid.). Three days later, Colonel Jozo Petrasevic, commander of VP 2123 “R” of the Croatian Army, “pursuant to point IV, paragraph 2, of the Decision of the President of the Republic on Organization and Number of the Members of the Croatian National Guard, command dated June 5, 1992, class: confidential 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 5120-13-92-78”, issued the order “for execution of the temporary task on the Southern Frontline”, pursuant to which all the aforementioned officers and soldiers of the Croatian Army (however, he did add one soldier on top of this group — V. Kukolj) were sent to the Southern Frontline. In compliance with the order of minister Gojko Susak, in doing so, he specified all the rights they are entitled to and the obligation to report to general Janko Bobetko. Colonel Jozo Petrasevic supplied the aforementioned order to Miro Andric and Army General Janko Bobetko (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-3049, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, VP 2123 “R” of the HV, Class: 8-01/92, reg. No. 2123-01-92-2613, Beketinci, June 8, 1992, COMMAND).
181. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2175, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Defence Department, Main Headquarters of the HVO, No: 01-472/93, Mostar, March 16, 1993 — to the 101st Brigade “R” of the HV, Personnel Department. Ivan Zlatic, a member of the Croatian Army (soldier) was promoted all the way up from the technical services officer in the 1st Infantry Battalion of the 101st Croatian Brigade to the Chief of Staff of the Technical Services of the 2nd Brigade of the HVO in the Operational Zone of Southeast Herzegovina of the “HZ HB”. He “was performing his duties on the Southern Frontline from June 5, 1992, until March 15, 1993” (Ibid.). Ivan Zlatic “was conscientious, and provided very good quality performance”. Upon his personal request, the Main Headquarters of the HVO granted him APPROVAL on March 16, 1993, so that he, as a member of the 101st “R” Brigade of the Croatian Army, should return to his mother unit, noting that all his rights and obligations “shall be resolved at the 101st Brigade “R” of the HV, so that he is to report to the commander of the 101st “R” Brigade, Colonel Jozo Petrasevic” (Ibid.). When he received approval to “return to the mother unit” — 101st Brigade “R” of the Croatian Army, Ivan Zlatic was also granted “seven (7) days of award leave”, “so it would be easier for him to resolve his obligations related to the further status at the 101st Brigade” (Ibid).
182. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2159, Main Headquarters of the HVO, Colonel Miro Andric, Vitez, May 3, 1993 — to the 101st Brigade of the HV, REPORT. On May 3, 1993, from Vitez (“MAIN HEADQUARTERS OF THE HVO”), Colonel Miro Andric sent the REPORT to the 101st Brigade of the Croatian Army (at 11:30 hours, by fax at: 041 154 015), of the following contents: “The below stated officials from the 101st Brigade of the HVO, who are at the Southern Frontline (HZ HB) upon the order of the Ministry of Defence of RH), are found on the same duties as in the month of March: 1. Col. Miro Andric, 2. Blaz Andric, 3. Mirsad Sivac, 4. Branko Kozul and 5. Captain Goran Vujic. The officials spent thirty days of the month of April at their duties” (Ibid.). The memorandum of the aforementioned report, (in the upper left-hand corner), before stating of the rank and identity of Colonel Miro Andric, contained the following words: “GENERAL STAFF OF THE HVO”. At the end of that report — in the lower right-hand corner, in addition to the text: “Col. MIRO ANDRIC”, there was his personal signature and left to it there was a round seal, with the following inscription: “Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Defence Department, Operational Zone of Central Bosnia, Travnik” — Ibid.
183. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2175, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Defence Department, Main Headquarters of the HVO, No: 01-472/93, Mostar, March 16, 1993 — to the 101st Brigade “R” of the HV, Personnel Department.
184. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23.
185. Ibid.
186. Ibid.
187. Ibid.
188. Ibid.
189. Ibid. The Republic of Croatia had also dislocated a number of the Mi-17 helicopters onto the territory of HR HB (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2976, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters of the HVO, Department of RZ and PZO, reg. No. 02-2/1-05-2383/93, IZM Citluk, September 9, 1993 — to the chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the HVO). 190. Ibid.
191. Ibid.
192. RAT…, pp. 129, and 134.
193. Ibid., p. 135.
194. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 87. In such a situation, the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina emphasized that it would be “forced to approach the international community and seek protection against the aggression” (Ibid.).
195. Ibid.
196. Oslobodjenje, January 29, 1994, pp. 1, and 3. On the occasion of the murder of Paul Goodall (UNHCR driver, a British national), and injuring of two more persons, at this session, the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina condemned this crime, expressed the deepest condolences to the family of the murdered, to the Government of Great Britain and to UNHCR, and took on the obligation “to undertake all in order to have the perpetrators of this awful crime identified and punished as soon as possible” (Ibid.). 197. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 88.
198. REZOLUCIJE…, pp. 31-35, and 49-53; S. Omeragic, the aforementioned work, pp. 157-158. In Resolution 752 (1992), dated May 15, 1992, the Security Council demanded “that all forms of interference coming from outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including those coming from the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) and elements of the Croatian Army, should be suspended immediately and that the neighbours of Bosnia and Herzegovina should undertake urgent action to terminate such interference and to respect the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It demanded that such units of the JNA and elements of the Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina be immediately withdrawn or subordinated to the competency of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or be dismissed and disarmed, and their arms be placed under effective international observation, and sought from the secretary general to review what international assistance can be identified in relation to this without any delay; It also demanded that all the irregular forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina be dismissed and disarmed; It invited all parties and other parties concerned to ensure immediate suspension of any forced expulsion of persons from the areas of their residence and all attempts to change the ethnic composition of the population, anywhere in the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia… (REZOLUCIJE…, pp. 32-33).
199. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 89. Boutros Boutros-Ghali incorrectly states that the Croatian Army “is directly supporting the Croatian Defence Council…”. Namely, the Croatian Army was not supporting the HVO, but the HVO units are collaborationist forces of the Croatian Army, acting in compliance with a single system of directing and commanding of the Croatian Army. Tudjman personally appointed the members of the supreme HVO body — its Main Headquarters.
200. Ibid., paragraph 89. The Republic of Croatia did not conceal the information on participation of its units against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, in the letter to Secretary General, dated February 11, 1994, among other things, vice-President of the Government and minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Croatia expressed the readiness of his Government “to withdraw certain units from the border areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Ibid., paragraph 90).
201. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2961, Republic of Croatia, Croatian National Guard, 1st Brigade, 6th Battalion, Klek, May 18, 1992, Redeployment in BiH; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2972, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HVO, reg. no. 02-2/1-01-4144/93, Posusje, December 3, 1993 — to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, Main Headquarters of the HV, Attn. chief of staff Janko Bobetko; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2991, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of OZ Central Bosnia, IZM Vitez, no: 01-5-547/93, May 21, 1993 — to the GS HVO Mostar; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2991, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of OZ Central Bosnia, IZM Vitez, reg. no: 01-4-171/93, April 12, 1993 — to the commanders of brigades and autonomous units, and others; ICTY, PROSECUTOR AGAINST RAJIC, Case: No. It-95-12, paragraph 17.
202. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, pp. 15, and 23; AIIZ, inv. No. 03-2685; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1683, command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, April 16, 1992, Formation of the IZM of the Southern Frontline, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 205-207; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1698, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/85, no. 6030- 01/92-1, Ploce, May 16, 1992 — to general major Ante Roso, published in: J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 220; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1751, Command of the OZ S/ZH, no. 59/92, October 6, 1992 — to the Brigades and Municipal Headquarters of the HVO of OZ Northwest Herzegovina, “Data for HV officers requested”; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2969, Union of the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Main Headquarters of the HVO, reg. No. 02-2/1-01-5390/93, IZM Citluk, November 10, 1993 — to all the Brigades / HVO, COMMAND No. 1; Ibid., 2-2998, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HV, Special Units, Zagreb, September 15, 1993 — Attn. captain Mario Sunjic, COMMAND; M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 363.
203. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2159, Main Headquarters of the HVO, Colonel Miro Andric, Vitez, May 3, 1993 — to the 101st Brigade of the HV, REPORT; Ibid., inv. No. 2-2290, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence Zagreb, class: confidential 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 5120-13-92-78, Zagreb, June 5, 1992 — to the Command of the 101st R Brigade; Ibid., inv. No. 2-3049, Republic of Croatia, Croatian Army, Military Post 2123 “R” of the HV, class: 9-01/92, no. 2123-01-92-2613, Beketinci, June 8, 1992, COMMAND.
204. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1883, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, OZ S/Z Herzegovina [Operational Zone of Northwest Herzegovina — note by the author], no.05/6-276, Tomislavgrad, April 12, 1993 — to all the brigades; Ibid., inv. No. Ibid., inv. No. 2-1751, Command of the OZ S/ZH, no. 59/92, October 6, 1992 — to the Brigades and Municipal Headquarters of the HVO of OZ Northwest Herzegovina, “Data for HV officers requested”; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1761, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters, Mostar, October 30, 1992 — to the OS HVO Bugojno. In the letter to OS HVO Bugojno, dated October 30, 1992, Zarko Keza (chief of staff of the VOS of the Main Headquarters of the HVO Mostar) wrote: “Mr. Ante Vujina from Split is inquiring whether his son, Josip Vujina is alive, who is found in the HVO in Bugojno, according to the information at the 2nd Battalion, at Mr. Slavko Petricevic’s. I am looking forward to the response to the Main Headquarters of the HVO Mostar, with particular respect” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1761).
205. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 676.
206. Ibid., p. 671.
207. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1881, Army of BiH, IVth Corps, Commission for Exchange of Detained and Expelled Soldiers and Civilians, Mostar, May 28, 1993 — to the International Red Cross, Delivery of Igor (son of Bruno) Kapor. On May 28, 1993, Commission for Exchange of Detained and Expelled Soldiers and Civilians at the IVth Corps of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered Kapor to the International Red Cross, upon their request, “provided that the International Red Cross delivers Igor (son of Bruno) Kapor to the Croatian Army of state of Croatia” (Ibid.).
208. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1884, Croatian Defence Council, Operational Zone of Southeast Herzegovina, 3rd (?) Brigade, Department for Organization and Personnel, No: 03-309/93, Mostar, December 8, 1993. On the back side of his Military Accreditation of the 101st (not 111th) Rijeka Brigade of the Croatian Army, in addition to the photograph (in the upper left-hand corner) and the ordinal number below it (R 473856), in the right-hand corner — below the Croatian flag, there was the following text: “REPUBLIC OF CROATIA MILITARY ACCREDITATION”, with name and surname (“FRANJO PAKRAC”). On the front side there was his JMBG number (01109693600553), rank, duty (soldier), number of accreditation (3638), date of issuance (June 17, 1992), unit number (2133), personal signature of the authorized person and seal.
209. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1885, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, MILITARY ACCREDITATION OF RUDOLF DUPLISAK. Rudolf Duplisak was born on April 1, 1954, in Backa Topola, and his residence was in Rijeka. He received a driver’s license from the Police Administration in Rijeka on September 11, 1991. Thee of his military accreditations were preserved: the first one was issued to him by the 4th Battalion of the 159th Brigade of the Croatian Army (Ministry of Defence, Sector Zadar), on February 15, 1992; the second one by the Military Post 3065 in Zadar, on March 27, 1992, where the column “rank, duty” states “SOLDIER”, and the third one by the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, on September 18, 1992, “proving the membership of the army of the Croatian Defence Council”, where he had the rank of non-commissioned officer.
210. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1886, Republic of Croatia, Military Accreditation of Tomislav Lukacevic; Ibid., Republic of Croatia, Personal ID of Tomislav Lukacevic.
211. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2155, Individual Card of the soldier of the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia — Miroslav Fabulic. Miroslav (son of Ante) Fabulic (JMBG number 2707944192252) was born on July 27, 1944, in Slavonska Pozega, Republic of Croatia, by profession an education worker (teacher).
212. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2156, Individual Card of the soldier of the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia — Drago Sandrk. Drago (son of Ljupko) Sandrk (JMBG number 26069588191254) was born on June 26, 1958, in Beli Manastir, Republic of Croatia, by profession a mechanic.
213. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2157, Individual Card of the soldier of the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia — Sergej Filipovic. Sergej (son of Aleksandar) Filipovic (JMBG number 0909960191259) was born on September 9, 1960, in Vinkovci, Republic of Croatia, by profession a metal worker.
214. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2158, Individual Card of the soldier of the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia — Darko Hofer. Darko (son of Stjepan) Hofer (JMBG number 070997030022) was born on September 7, 1970, in the place of Ivanovac — Osijek, Republic of Croatia.
215. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1887, Republic of Croatia, MILITARY ACCREDITATION OF JURE BRAJKOVIC. 216. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1889, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal Headquarters of the HVO Kakanj, No. 11 3306/92, December 1, 1992, PERMIT FOR MOVEMENT.
217. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1893, CV of Ivan Apica, Split, October 13, 1993. Even in 1993, Apica was the member of the 114th Brigade of the Croatian Army. On October 23, 1993, from deputy Commander of that Brigade, Major Slaven Zdilar, he received a permit to transfer into another unit, provided that “before his departure he was obligated to return his arms to the brigade logistics” (AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1893, Republic of Croatia, Military Post 2136 Split, KL 802-04/93-04/92, REG. NO. 2136-01-01-93-2, Orasac — to the Autonomous Company at the 114th Brigade of HV, Attn. Mr. Marko Skeja).
218. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1877, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal headquarters of Bugojno, Headquarters of the First Battalion, Bugojno, May 31, 1992 — to the Military Police, Sector Dalmatia Split, to Commander Galic; “STOZER”, War Bulletin, no. 4, Bugojno 1992.
219. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2951, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Operational Zone of Southeast Herzegovina, Mostar, 3rd Brigade — HVO, no. B-583-23/93, Mostar, October 23, 1993 — OZ JIH, SIS, Attn. Ivica Pusic. In addition to the aforementioned, “the soldiers of the HV, THUNDERS AND TIGERS, were also added to the units of the 3rd Brigade of the HVO” (Ibid.).
220. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2981, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Center of the SIS Rama, no. 02-42-7-49/93, November 5, 1993, List of Foreign Citizens in the area of responsibility of the Center of the SIS Rama, by units.
221. Ibid.
222. Ibid.
223. Ibid.
224. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2972, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HVO, reg. no. 02-2/1-01-4144/93, Posusje, December 3, 1993 — to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, Main Headquarters of the HV, Attn. chief of staff Janko Bobetko. On December 3, 1993, general Ante Roso, commander of the Main Headquarters of the HVO, approached to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, personally to the chief of staff of the Main Headquarters — general Janko Bobetko, with the request that major Simon Petrisic, “official of the Administration for Organization, Staffing and Mobilization of the OS RH, which is on duty at the Department for Organization, Staffing and Legal Affairs of the GS HVO, be approved for indefinite duration redeployment into the GS HVO”, in order to offer expert assistance “in the affairs of organization, preparation and mobilization of the HVO units” (Ibid.).
225. AIIZ, 2-2979-2980, Center of SIS, Tomislavgrad, No. 02-4/2-4-032/93, Tomislavgrad, November 3, 1993 — to the Department of Defence, Administration of SIS Mostar, HVO Brigade of Tomislavgrad, List of members of the Croatian Army. These are the following members of the Croatian Army:

226. AIIZ, 2-1878, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Main Headquarters, reg. No. 01-2258/92, Mostar, October 3, 1992 — to the commanders of OZ — Tomislavgrad — Citluk — Vitez, “Data for the HV officers requested”. “The data on the officers by functional duties” were to be supplied within three days (on October 6), using the format stating: the ordinal number, name, father’s name, surname, and JMB number, and then the rank (qualifications), “duty performed”, and the unit. The data were requested “for the officers on duties at the Commands of the OZ of sectors, brigades, battalions, divisions (only the commanders)”. The list needed to “also include the officers from [the] R[epublic of] Croatia”. (Ibid).
227. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1751, Command of the OZ S/ZH /Operational Zone of Northwest Herzegovina/, no. 59/92, October 6, 1992 — to the Brigades and Municipal Headquarters of the HVO of OZ Northwest Herzegovina, “Data for HV officers requested”. Colonel Siljeg requested these data from five brigades and two municipal headquarters of the HVO (brigades: Petar Kresimir IV Livno; Rama Prozor; Kralj Tomislav Tomislavgrad; Eugen Kvaternik Bugojno, and Herceg Stjepan Konjic, and the municipal headquarters of the HVO: Gornji Vakuf, and Posusje).
228. Ibid. “Data for HV officers” found in the units of the HVO of the Operational Zone of Northeast Herzegovina were to be supplied “in concordance with the following: - name, father’s name, surname; - date of birth, place, municipality; - JMB number, rank and number of promotion decree; - Date of reporting to the higher-ranking unit, upon whose command; - Duty performed at the HVO, whether receiving salary from the HV” (Ibid.).
229. Ibid.
230. Ibid. “The end date for supplying of the requested data is October 10, 1992”.
231. AIIZ, 2.1879, Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Brigade Eugen Kvaternik Bugojno, no. 01-10-676/92, Bugojno, October 9, 1992. Commander Lucic supplied the aforementioned order to: the Ist and IInd Battalions, Artillery, Engineers, Anti-Aircraft Defence, Intervention Platoon, Autonomous Party, Anti-Tank Platoon Garavi, Commando Platoon, Patrolling Platoon, Command Party, Military Police, and Communications Center. Based on the instructions from Colonel Siljeg, “the data for the HV officers” were to be supplied on the same day.
232. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1883, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, OZ S/Z Herzegovina, no. 05/6-276, Tomislavgrad, April 12, 1993 — to all the brigades, Submission of Data on HV Officers in the HVO”.
233. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1883, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, OZ S/Z Herzegovina, no. 05/6-276, Tomislavgrad, April 12, 1993 — to all the brigades, Submission of Data on HV Officers in the HVO”; AIIZ, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, OZ Central Bosnia, IZM Vitez, no. 01-4-171/93, Vitez, April 12, 1993 — to the commanders of brigades and autonomous units, COMMAND. The order of Colonel Siljeg in full stated as follows: “COMMAND Pursuant to the order from the GS HVO HZ HB, no. 01-618/93, dated April 12, 1993, in order to obtain full records and regulate the status of the HV officers in the HVO. I HEREBY COMMAND 1. Supply the list of all HV officers found in your units and commands. 2. In addition to name, father’s name and surname, also supply the commands deploying them to the HVO, rank and number of decree on promotion (reserve and active), and the duty he now performs with you, and duties performed previously and in which periods. 3. Supply the data to the command of the Oz S/Z H by April 16, 1993, until 12:00 hours” (Ibid.). The aforementioned command was sent to the following brigades: Kralj Tomislav — Tomislavgrad; Petar Kresimir IV — Livno; Eugen Kvaternik — Bugojno; Dr. Ante Starcevic — Gornji Vakuf; Rama — Prozor; Hrvoje Vukcic-Hrvatinic — Jajce, and to the Battalion Rafael Boban — Posusje. (Ibid.). The order by Colonel Blaskic stated as follows: “COMMAND 1. Supply the list of the HV officers found in your units and commands. 2. In addition to name, father’s name and surname, also supply the numbers of commands deploying them to the HVO, rank and number of decree on promotion (reserve and active), and the duty he now performs with you, and the duty performed previously. 3. The end date for execution of this command is three (3) days” (Ibid.). Colonel Siljeg requested that he be supplied with the “list of all the HV officers” by April 16 (until 12:00 hours), and Colonel Blaskic requested it by April 15, 1993.
234. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2993, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Operational Zone of Southeast Herzegovina, No. 01-286/1514, Mostar, November 27, 1992, COMMAND, See Order by I. Primorac, dated December 9, 1992.
235. AIIZ, 2-1880, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Command of the Headquarters of the OS Zenica, ZM Zenica, No. 540/92, Zenica, November 26, 1992 — to all of the HVO units.
236. Prva Linija, no. 7, August 30, 1993, p. 6.
237. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1880, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Command of the Headquarters of the OS Zenica, ZM Zenica, No. 540/92, Zenica, November 26, 1992 — to all of the HVO units.
238. AIIZ, 2-1784, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal Headquarters of Mostar, 3rd Brigade of the HVO, confidential, no. 02-01/11/92, Mostar, December 9, 1992, COMMAND.
239. Ibid. The aforementioned order also included the following text: “The Command of the 3rd Brigade shall invest additional efforts to ensure a sufficient number of the HVO emblems, and in case of lacking of emblems, individuals may be without them. 6. Any contacts with the UNPROFOR and European Community representatives, or provision of specific information, may only be done by the unit commanders and that under the approval of the GS HVO of the HZ HB. Battalion commanders and autonomous parties shall be responsible for execution of this command.” (Ibid.). Commander Primorac sent the aforementioned order to the following units: 6th Siroki Brijeg Battalion, 4th Battalion Tihomir Misic, 7th, 8th, and 9th Battalion, Buna Autonomous Party, Mixed Artillery Division, Engineering Party, Logistics Party, and Security Services (Ibid.).
240. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1680, Command of the OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/17, reg. No. 6030-08/91-01, April 12, 1992 - to the Commander 4/4 brigade of the ZNG; Bilten FHP, no. 15, p. 183.
241. See: J. Bobetko, SVE MOJE BITKE, Zagreb, 1996; RAT…, p. 134. However, according to general Martin Spegelj, this was “a completely transparent and bad improvisation that could delude no one in the world…” (RAT…, p. 134).
242. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 93.
243. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1784, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal Headquarters of Mostar, 3rd Brigade of the HVO, confidential, no. 02-01/11/92, Mostar, December 9, 1992, COMMAND.
244. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1751, Command of the OZ S/ZH, no. 59/92, October 6, 1992 — to the Brigades and Municipal Headquarters of the HVO of OZ Northwest Herzegovina, “Data for HV officers requested”; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1879, HZ “Herzeg-Bosnia”, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Brigade Eugen Kvaternik Bugojno, no. 01-109-676/92, Bugojno, October 9, 1992 — to the Ist Battalion, and others. On October 6, and 9, 1992, Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, commander of the Operational Zone of Northeast Herzegovina, and Ivica Lucic, commander of the Brigade Eugen Kvaternik (Bugojno), issued orders forbidding abandoning of the HVO units by the members of the Croatian Army without the order of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia. In relation to this, they warned “all the officers who are found in the HVO that they can not leave the current HVO units without the order from the Ministry of Defence of the RH” (Ibid.).
245. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2952, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Municipal Headquarters Mostar, reg. No. 01-286/1099/92, Mostar, August 21, 1992, COMMAND.
246. M. Culic, the aforementioned work, p. 90.
247. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-3010, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HV, class: 8/93-01/02, reg. no. 512-06-06/2-93-75, Zagreb, December 7, 1993, COMMAND. Thus, for instance, on December 7, 1993, “based on the expressed need for more effective and complete intelligence securing of the units and commands subordinated to the IZM Ploce (“Southern Frontline”), as well as the units and commands from the HVO composition”, general Janko Bobetko (chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army) issued the order for organization and personnel training of the Intelligence Departments on the Forefront Command Place of Ploce (“Southern Frontline”), appointed the chief of staff of that department (major Hrvoje Vlahov) and one of the advisors (Zoran Simic), determined the tasks and powers of the Intelligence Department of the IZM Ploce (“… he shall be in charge of planning and organization of the intelligence work in the scope of intelligence interests of the ‘Southern Frontline’ and in terms of that, he shall be empowered to coordinate the work of the intelligence departments of ZP Split and the ‘Southern Frontline’, and the Intelligence Administration of the GS HVO”), then the obligations of the intelligence departments of the ZP Split and the “Southern Frontline” and the Intelligence Administration of the GS HVO (Ibid.).
248. J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 127; ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 95; see. pp. 1098-1109, notes 133-156 of this work. In claiming that the Croatian Army is “advising” the Croatian Defence Council and is conveying experiences to them, general Janko Bobetko writes that the forces of the Croatian Defence Council are “rather respectable”, they execute their tasks and defend that portion of the territory successfully, preventing the Chetniks from penetrating”. In relation to this, he falsely claims that the Croatian Defence Council is an autonomous force, responsible for its own territory (J. Bobetko, the aforementioned work, p. 127). The very fact that General Bobetko was the commander of the Southern Frontline speaks of the contrary. On March 21, 1992, Pasko Ljubicic, commander of the Defence of Herzeg- Bosnia, requested to be received by Gojko Susak, minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia, first of all, “in order to receive instructions for supplementary actions (in Central Bosnia)” (ICTY, Case: No.IT-95-14-T, paragraph 110). Among the proposed participants of that meeting was also Dario Kordic, President of the Crisis Headquarters of the Central Bosnia and deputy President of the “Croatian Community of Herzeg- Bosnia” (Ibid).
249. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2943, Minutes from the meeting with Mr. minister G. Susak held at the Ministry of Defence on December 22, 1993; Ibid., inv. No. 2-3010, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Main Headquarters of the HV, class: 8/93-01/02, reg. no. 512-06-06/2-93-75, Zagreb, December 7, 1993, COMMAND. The Intelligence Administration of the Main Headquarters of the HVO was sending all the intelligence data to the Intelligence Department of the IZM Ploce (“Southern Frontline”) — this was in fact its obligation, signed off by the chief of staff of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army — General Janko Bobetko (Ibid.). 250. Bilten FHP, No. 15, p. 108.
251. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 110.
252. Ibid., paragraph 111.
253. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-1678, Republic of Croatia, President, ORDER, No.: PA7-28/I-92, Zagreb, April 10, 1992; Ibid., 2-1683, Command of the Southern Frontline IZM — Grude, April 16, 1992, Formation of the IZM of the Southern Frontline; inv. No.2-1684, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, no. 01-195/92, April 16, 1992, Composition of the IZM Command of the Southern Frontline; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1687, Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, Croatian Defence Council, Command of the Southern Frontline, IZM Grude, Grude, April 21, 1992, Division of the areas of responsibility, Command — to general major Ante Roso, brigadier Miljenko Crnjec; Ibid., inv. No. 2-1701, Republic of Croatia, Command of the Southern Frontline, Command of OZ Split, IZM Ploce, class: 8/92-01/91, reg. No. 6030-02/92-1, Ploce, May 19, 1992, Formation of the IZM of “Central Bosnia”; Janko Bobetko, the aforementioned work, pp. 202, 205-208, 211-216, and 219-221; ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 112. For this, please also see pp. 1101-1105 (notes 138-144), 1107 (note 156), and 1156 (notes 258-259) of this work.
254. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 112.
255. See pp. 1156-1159 (notes 258-263) of this work.
256. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 112; AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2969, Union of the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, Main Headquarters of the HVO, reg. No. 02-2/1-01-5390/93, IZM Citluk, November 10, 1993 — to all the Brigades / HVO, Command No. 1; M. Spegelj, the aforementioned work, p. 363.
257. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 114.
258. Ibid., paragraph 115. Ivan Tolj, representative at the Croatian Parliament, “was the general of both armies” He and other “representatives of the Croatian Parliament were photographed there in the HVO uniforms, although they were at the same time the members of the Croatian Parliament. These same persons demonized the Muslims and their right to defend the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the most extreme extent.” (Ibid., paragraph 115, note 233).
259. Ibid.
260. S. Cekic, the aforementioned work, pp. 33-35, and 306-309; M. Culic, the aforementioned work, pp. 70-71; ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 114.
261. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 117.
262. AIIZ, inv. No. 2-2111, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, Zagreb, November 21, 1995, Excerpt from the Decision of the President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Croatia, no. 01-04-95-1050/1-C65, dated November 14, 1995. “Pursuant to Article 100, paragraph 1, of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, and Article 159, paragraph 1, of the Law on Service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, (‘National Gazette’ nos. 23/95, and 33/95)”, on November 14, 1995, the President of the Republic and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman passed the Decision on Appointment of General Tihomir Blaskic to the duty of inspector at the Main Inspectorate of the Croatian Army (Ibid.).
263. ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraphs 77, 94, 102, and 123-124; ICTY, PROSECUTOR AGAINST RAJIC, Case: No. IT-95-12, paragraph 22. The defence of general Blaskic claimed that the Croatian Army was directing the operations of the Croatian Defence Council only in the period between March and June 1992, “before the Croatian Defence Council was organized and before the conflict arose between the Croatian and Muslim forces in Central Bosnia”. The ICTY agrees “that the interference by the Croatian Army and Croatia may seem more obvious in the beginning of the given period, but its assessment is that it continued for the whole period of the conflict” (ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 102).
264. Bosna, no. 1, February 11, 1994, p. 23; ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14-T, paragraph 120; ICTY, Case: No. IT-95-14/1-T, paragraph 78, note 182. From the final statement of the Ministry of Defence of the HZ HB for 1993, it derives that in that year, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia participated with 16,764,924,236 HRD of the regular financial contribution from the budget, and with 268,770,000 HRD of special grants for the needs of the Ministry of Defence of the HZ HB (C. Ribicic, the aforementioned work, pp. 95-95, note 167).

Tags: Croatian aggression, Greater Croatia, Herceg-Bosna, Joint criminal enterprise (JCE), Foreign Mercenaries, Croatian mercenaries

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