Mostar was surrounded by the Croat forces for nine months, and much of its historic city was severely damaged in shelling including the famous Stari Most bridge.[62]

Old Bridge Mostar - HVO (Croatian Defence Council) masterpiece the destruction of the Old Bridge (Stari Most) Old Bridge Mostar
HVO (Croatian Defence Council) masterpiece the destruction of the Old Bridge (Stari Most) 09.11.1993



Mostar was divided into a Western part, which was dominated by the Croat forces and an Eastern part where the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was largely concentrated. However, the Bosnian Army had its headquarters in West Mostar in the basement of a building complex referred to as Vranica. In the early hours of May 9, 1993, the Croatian Defence Council attacked Mostar using artillery, mortars, heavy weapons and small arms. The HVO controlled all roads leading into Mostar and international organisations were denied access. Radio Mostar announced that all Bosniaks should hang out a white flag from their windows. The HVO attack had been well prepared and planned.[63]

Destruction of Mostar by HVO (Croatian Defence Council) - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Destruction of Mostar by HVO (Croatian Defence Council) - Bosnia and Herzegovina



Don't Forget 1993, Mostar - Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe Croats took over the west side of the city and expelled thousands[62] Bosniaks from the west side into the east side of the city. The HVO shelling reduced much of the east side of Mostar to rubble. The JNA (Yugoslav Army) demolished Carinski Bridge, Titov Bridge and Lucki Bridge over the river excluding the Stari Most. HVO forces (and its smaller divisions) engaged in a mass execution, ethnic cleansing and rape on the Bosniak people of the West Mostar and its surrounds and a fierce siege and shelling campaign on the Bosnian Government run East Mostar. HVO campaign resulted in thousands of injured and killed.[62]

 

 

Destruction of Mostar by HVO (Croatian Defence Council) - Bosnia and Herzegovina Destruction of Mostar by HVO (Croatian Defence Council) - Bosnia and Herzegovina



Bosnian Army launched an operation known as Neretva 93 against the Croatian Defence Council and Croatian Army in September 1993 in order to end the siege of Mostar and to recapture areas of Herzegovina, which were included in self-proclaimed Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia. The operation was stopped by Bosnian authorities after it received the information about the massacre against Croat civilians and POWs in the villages of Grabovica and Uzdol.

The Croat leadership (Jadranko Prlić, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoj Petković, Valentin Corić and Berislav Pušić) is presently on trial at the ICTY on charges including crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva conventions and violations of the laws or customs of war. Dario Kordić, political leader of Croats in Central Bosnia was convicted of the crimes against humanity in Central Bosnia i.e. ethnic cleansing and sentenced to 25 years in prison. [58] Bosnian commander Sefer Halilovic was charged with one count of violation of the laws and customs of war on the basis of superior criminal responsibility of the incidents during Neretva 93 and found not guilty.


References:

1. a b c "ICTY: Kordić and Čerkez verdict". [58]
2. a b c "ICTY: Prlić et al. (IT-04-74)". [62]