Short Chronology of the Bosniak-Croat war

19. October 1990. The presidency of the Socialist Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina according to the order of the Headquarters of armed forces of Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia draws a decision to withdraw all of the weapons and the military equipment in possession of Territorial defense in to the Yugoslav Peoples Army military depot. This decision was not obeyed by 23 municipalities with Bosnian Croat majority population and 17 municipalities with Bosnian Serb majority population.

18. November 1991. The extreme elements of the HDZBiH, led by Mate Boban and Dario Kordić later convicted by ICTY of war crimes, proclaimed the existence of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, as a separate "political, cultural, economic and territorial whole," with Croat Defence Council (HVO) as its military part on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because of ethnic cleansing of non-Croat population and crimes against humanity as well as war crimes committed by the Croatian authorities on Bosniak civilians, HDZ had much of influence in municipalities claimed by Herzeg-Bosnia. The Bosnian government did not recognize it. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared Herzeg-Bosnia illegal, first on September 14, 1992 and again on January 20, 1994.

31. December 1991. President Franjo Tuđman of the Republic of Croatia in the interview for newspaper ‘Slobodna Dalmacije’ concludes the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be avoided only if there would be and agreement in which Serbia and Croatia would gain parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosniaks, by Tuđmans reasoning would get smaller part of central Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tuđman in that interview has characterized Bosnia and Herzegovina as colonial creation.

08. April 1992. HVO units in Mostar even though they were well armed did not react on the Serbian attacks on the City of Mostar.

24. April 1992. So called the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia reacted on the decision made by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to unite all of the military forces opposing the Serb aggression under one joint command of Territorial Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by refusing to put HVO under its joint command. Those sort of political decisions made by leadership of so called Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia was not accepted by all HVO units especially those in the north and north-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

08. May 1992. Serb forces consisting of tank and infantry units are successfully attacking and capturing left bank of Mostar. The Mostar battalion of Bosnian Army did not have any ant-tank weapons which they can use to stop tanks T-84 belonging to the Yugoslav People Army (Serbs). In that battle the Mostar battalion suffers heavy losses and was forced onto the right bank of Mostar.

10. May 1992. HVO Busovača municipally headquarters issued the order to put Busovača under total blockade from all directions and to make connections with Serb army in Kaonik so they can peacefully evacuate the Yugoslav Peoples Army barracks. HVO Busovača municipally headquarters issued ultimatum to the Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) to surrender its weapons and be placed under the total command of HVO. The order was signed by second in command of HVO Dario Kordić and the commander of the municipally headquarters Busovača Ivo Brnada. Dario Kordić takes the leadership of HDZ after the death of Mate Boban, and in February 2001 ICTY in the Hague has handed down to him 25 years of imprisonment for the crimes committed on the Bosnian Muslim population of central Bosnia.

09. June 1992. Blaž Kraljević was killed by members of HVO. Blaž Kraljević was a Croat paramilitary leader during the first few months of the Serb Aggression on Bosnia who commanded the HOS. When the war began Kraljević began to position his group as the main Croat militia in Bosnia. Unlike the other Croat militia, the HVO (Hrvatsko Vijeće Obrane-Croatian Defence Council, he opposed the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the creation of an ethnically cleansed Greater Croatia.

14. June 1992. Joint military operation between the Bosnian Army Mostar battalion and HVO has forced Serb forces to retreat back towards Nevesinje and freed the left bank of Mostar.

19. June 1992. HVO made a decision to leave its positions on the left bank of Mostar and to pull out all of its anti-tank weapons and artillery peaces. Because of that decision the Bosnian Army was fighting Serb forces on its own.

20. August 1992. Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) from Igman, Hrasnice and Sokolović Kolonije have began attacking Serb positions on Ilidža, Stupska petlja and Nedžarići, with the intention to break the blockade of Sarajevo. On the Ilidžia from the Serb lines were broken, but the Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) did not connect with the Bosnian Army troops in the city. HVO Kiseljak stopped the Bosnian Army units from Visoko to cross the territory under HVO control.

01. October 1992. Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) starts the offensive on the Brčko front against Serb forces and manages to break through and create corridor which was on the smallest position only 4 km wide. It was planned that Croatian Army (HV Hrvatska Vojska) from the left side of the river Sava with 37 tanks give support to Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine), but that did not happen. Soldiers of the Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine), had created a corridor near village of Gorice and managed to break through on to a right bank of river Sava, and after 48 hours of waiting had to withdrew.

05. October 1992. Mladić meeting with the delegations from Croatia and Herceg-Bosna in Pećuj. Bruno Stojić and Slobodan Praljak – attended the meeting together with Jadranko Prlić. During the meeting Praljak said, 'The goal is the Banovina of 1939; if not, we'll continue the war'. An agreement on cease-fire, exchange of prisoners and repairs to the hydroelectric power plant in Jajce was reached at the meeting.

06. October 1992. Another meeting between Mladić and Slobodan Praljak took place in Njivice; general Milivoj Petković, attended a meeting as well. Praljak told Mladić, 'We are making good headway in our effort to convince Alija to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina'.

12. November 1992. In Grude a meeting of presidents of Crisis Management Committee of Hervcegovačka and Travnik region communities took place. This meetings agenda was to join Herzeg-Bosna to Croatia. So to achieve this goal two regional communities have formulated all legal and political acts, including proclamation of the Croat Banate in Bosnia. One other conclusion of this meeting was a military preparation for conflicts with “all those who are going to try to stop creation of free Croat state”. The chairperson of this meeting was mate Boban.

15. November 1992. In the spirit of decisions of the Hervcegovačka and Travnička regional community agreement HVO (Croatian Defence Council) with the support of Croatian Army create a total blockade of the positions controlled by Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine). This blockade lasted till March 1994. During the blockade all of the attempts to re supply Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) with weapons, ammunition and equipment on fronts against Serb forces was blocked by HVO and Croatian Army.

14. April 1993. HVO troops with direct military support and help of Croatian Army went on all out offensive against the Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) in Herzegovina and central Bosnia. Before that the Bosniak members of HVO and the smaller more isolated units of Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) were disarmed. HVO attacks and occupies Prozor. The fiercest fights take place in Gornji Vakuf, Fojnica and Mostar (west side of Mostar which was occupied by HVO which was declared Croatian city and a capital of the so called Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia).

16. April 1993. In village Ahmići, central Bosnia, HVO troops have rounded up and killed 120 Bosniak civilians.

09. May 1993. HVO conducts strong attacks on to east side of Mostar (part of the city under the control of Bosnian Army). Bosnian Army troops found them selves surrounded on a territory of only few square kilometers. Heavy infantry fights are taking place on the west side of Mostar in Šantića Street which is the front line between HVO and Bosnian Army. HVO starts to set up concentration camps for Bosniaks mainly civilians. These HVO concentration camps included Heliodrom in Mostaru, Dretelj, Gabelu and many others.

12. June 1993. HVO Kiseljak and the Serb forces from Ilidža in village Grahovica (between Kiseljak and Ilidža) kill 37 Bosniak civilians.

01. July 1993. 111. brigade of HVO from Žepče attacks Bosnian Army troops in Novi Šeher.

08. July 1993. Meeting between Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić took place. Radovan Karadžić ordered general Ratko Mladić, 'Help the Croats in order to force the Muslims to accept the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina'. Mladić left Belgrade the same day and went to Njivice, where he met with Petković. The two made deals on the military cooperation between the VRS and the HVO, sale of weapons and equipment and 'renting' artillery pieces which then fired on the BH Army positions north of Mostar.

01. November 1993. Old Bridge in Mostar was destroyed by the HVO Croatian Defence Council. After the war Arif Pašalić who was the commander of the 4th Corps of Bosnian Army said “With the destruction of Old Bridge Croats have pissed all over their thousand year old tradition and culture”.

23. February 1994. The Croat-Bosniak war officially ended when the Commander of HVO, general Ante Roso and commander of Bosnian Army, general Rasim Delić, signed a ceasefire agreement in Zagreb. In March 1994 a peace agreement mediated by the USA between the warring Croats (represented by Republic of Croatia) and Bosnia and Herzegovina was signed in Washington and Vienna which is known as the Washington Agreement. Under the agreement, the combined territory held by the Croat and Bosnian government forces was divided into ten autonomous cantons, establishing the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.