23 May. Assembly of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) adopts decision to draw up a study ‘of current social issues’, the future SANU Memorandum.
2 Sept. Zagreb newspaper Vjesnik, which had criticized the Greater Serbian approach of Vuk Drašković among Serb diaspora in USA and Canada, receives his Letter to the Editor with slogan Serbia was, is and will be wherever there are Serb pits, Serb gallows and Serb graves! This morbid image begins rehabilitation of ethnicity. Rabble-rousing campaign against Albanians, Bosniaks and Croats, intended to mobilize Serbs for war, grows more intense.
24 Oct. Widest-circulation newspaper in Yugoslavia, the Belgrade Većernji novosti, publishes the SANU Memorandum, which states that Serbs in Yugoslavia are continually under threat and economically exploited, and calls for (re)centralization of country and/or revision of its internal borders.
24 Apr. Group of Kosovo Serbs, systematically creating tensions in Kosovo under auspices of Serbian secret service, invite Milošević, visiting Kosovo, to meeting in Priština suburb of Kosovo Polje. After inciting Albanian police to intervene by throwing stones, Serbs gathered outside building call upon Milošević for help with words ‘They are beating us up!’, and he responds from balcony, ‘No one should dare to beat you!’ That phrase serves captive media as start to creating cult of Milošević as ‘defender of Serbs’. His rise becomes ever more rapid after this.
3 Sept. In Paraćin barracks of Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) in Serbia, deranged Albanian soldier kills four and wounds five soldiers. In Serbia event is officially interpreted as ‘organized attack against Yugoslavia and brotherhood and unity’, and used to reinforce anti-Albanian campaign.
23-24 Sept. Eighth Session of Central Committee of Communist League of Serbia, at which Milošević is victorious over rivals Ivan Stambolić and Dragiša Pavlović and takes over full control of republic Communist League.
29-30 May. First conference of Communist League of Yugoslavia in JNA (75,924 members, of which 54% are officers on active service). Despite some moves in favour of democratization and depolitization, ideological rigidity and an apologia for centralism dominate.
28 June. (St Vitus’ Day, anniversary of Battle of Kosovo). Reliquary of Prince Lazar, canonized participant in Battle of Kosovo of 1389, starts on its journey from Serbian Orthodox monastery of Ravanica. Purpose is that during course of year until 600th anniversary of battle, reliquary should be taken to as many parts of Serbia as possible, so that Serbs ‘will be inspired to return to their religious and national roots’. During summer procession visits Zvornik-Tuzla Eparchy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Gatherings are dominated by a mood of ‘historic tragedy of the Serb people, which is experiencing a new Kosovo’, and by ever more explicit nationalistic statements and Chetnik iconography.
9 July. First mass arrival of militant Kosovo Serbs in Novi Sad, organized by Serbian secret service. Series of rallies follows in Vojvodina, which rapidly results in fall of THE REGION’S government and appointment of politicians subservient to Belgrade.
17 July. Start of trial in Ljubljana of three journalists and a JNA captain, accused of revealing military secrets. In background is conceptual clash of Slovene public and majority of government with JNA (military service in one’s own republic, use of non-Serb language in JNA).
10 Jan. In series of coordinated rallies, culminating in Titograd/Podgorica (50,000), Milošević deposes current government in Montenegro and appoints people loyal to him.
14 Feb. Albanian miners in Trepća (Kosovo) begin strike, demanding that autonomy of Kosovo be respected as set out in 1974 Constitution of SFR Yugoslavia. They are supported by students of Priština University. Miners’ protest soon escalates into hunger strike in pits (1,500 miners).
28 Feb. Demonstrations in Knin (about 2,000 demonstrators), ostensibly in support of Belgrade’s ‘settling accounts with the counter revolution in Kosovo’, but in fact start of Greater Serbian insurgency in Croatia and challenge to republic government (for first time the cry is heard This is Serbia!)
16 Mar. Assembly of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) elects new Federal government. Its president, Ante Marković, sets in motion programme of transition to mixed economy and controlled political pluralization.
28 Mar. Assembly of Serbia proclaims new constitution of republic which revokes autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina, but retains their representatives in Presidency of SFRY and other Federal presidencies. Serbia thus de facto gains three votes in these bodies, and together with satellite representative of Montenegro is able to block all Federal institutions. In Kosovo, police fire on Albanian demonstrators (19 dead, 49 injured). That evening huge crowd in Belgrade shouts anti-Albanian slogans, cheers Milošević and calls for arrest of Albanian leaders. Following day Azem Vllasi is arrested.
20 May. Social Liberal Alliance of Croatia, first non-communist party in Croatia, founded in Zagreb.
17 June. Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) founded in Zagreb; President Franjo Tuđman.
28 June. In speech as part of celebrations of 600th anniversary of Battle of Kosovo, Milošević announces that ‘armed conflict is not excluded’ as solution to state crisis. In commemorative St Vitus’ Day issue of Glas Crkve, magazine of Šabac-Valjevo Eparchy, Proposal for a Serbian Church-National Programme is published, supporting abolition of regions’ autonomy and calling upon leadership of Serbia to ‘protect and preserve the rights, freedoms and spiritual integrity of its people on the entire territory of Yugoslavia’, with particular regard to ‘current unsettled situation’ in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbian Orthodox Church thus, despite opposing ideological stances, explicitly stands for Milošević’s expansionistic programme.
27 Sept. Assembly of Slovenia proclaims constitutional amendment giving republic laws priority over federal laws in event of conflict, and declares that state of emergency cannot be pronounced without agreement of republic assemblies.
29 Nov. Slovenian government bans planned rally of Kosovo Serbs in Ljubljana, and following day Serbian government calls upon firms and institutions in republic to break off relations with Slovenia. For first time in history one unit within a federation introduces economic boycott of another.
6 Dec. Milošević elected as President of Serbia.
8-25 Dec. On model of protests in other Eastern European countries, citizens light candles in Zagreb city centre, and sign petition calling for multi-party elections to be announced.
25 Dec. After reform wing of Ivica Raćan gains predominance in Communist League of Croatia, presidency of its Central Committee sends Assembly its Initiative for the Election of Assembly Bodies of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. With this, Communist League, until then enjoying political monopoly, in practice recognizes political pluralism, which Assembly later legalizes.
20-22 Jan. At Fourteenth extraordinary congress of Communist League of Yugoslavia, the attempt to establish Serb domination fails; Communist League of Slovenia delegation walks out of meeting, followed by delegation of Communist League of Croatia, which is de facto disintegration of Communist League of Yugoslavia.
7 Feb. Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian member of Presidency of SFRY, announces that Slovenia will begin process of separation from Yugoslavia.
17 Feb. Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) founded in Knin; president Jovan Rašković.
21 Feb. State of emergency declared in Kosovo; tanks and armoured units on streets; killing of 33 Albanian demonstrators.
24 Feb. First general assembly of HDZ in Zagreb; radical nationalists and returning émigrés, along with statement by Tuđman DE FACTO legitimizing NDH (Independent State of Croatia, 1942-5), provide tone.
4 Mar. Greater Serbia rally in Petrovo gora: retired JNA general Dušan Pekić calls for arrest of non-communist politicians in Croatia and Slovenia, and crowd shouts We want arms!
7-8 Apr. Parliamentary and presidential elections in Slovenia – government formed by post-election coalition DEMOS (Democratic Opposition of Slovenia; 5 non-communist parties, with total of 50.9% of votes; 55.1% mandate). Leader of reformed communists, Milan Kućan, elected as president of republic.
22-23 Apr. First round of elections in Croatia (second round 6-7 May). Since non-communist parties are already certain of victory, group of generals from Belgrade come to Zagreb between two rounds and call on Raćan to cancel elections, threatening military intervention, but he refuses (back in February JNA leadership had issued internal dispatch ordering JNA members in Slovenia and Croatia to vote for leftists). HDZ wins elections (41.5% of votes; 68.8% mandate in Social-Political Council of Assembly).
24 Apr. Although their trial in Kosovska Mitrovica is rigged, verdict to release Vllasi and others accused with him of ‘counter-revolutionary activities’ is pronounced.
13 May. In Zagreb fans of Belgrade Red Stars, led by Arkan, smash up fittings and attack spectators. Fans of local Dinamo hit back. Background to events is yet another attempt by Serbian secret service to impede, by provocation, transfer of authority in Croatia.
14 May. JNA leadership passes decision to disarm republic Territorial Defence (TO), aimed in fact at Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, excepting municipalities with Serb majority.
26 May. Party of Democratic Action (SDA) founded in Sarajevo; president Alija Izetbegović. Although not so designated by name, it is de facto national Bosniak party.
30 May. Peaceful transfer of authority in Croatia; new multi-party Assembly elects Tuđman as President of Presidency of Croatia.
28 June. Proposal of federal government to legalize multi-party elections at federal level (for Assembly of SFRY) vetoed by Slovenia, fearing limitation of extent of sovereignty already gained by elections, and by Serbia, which is afraid that confederal option will be strengthened.
27 June. Decision adopted in Knin to found Community of Municipalities of northern Dalmatia and Lika with Serb majority, first step towards establishing SDS authority in part of Croatia.
2 July. Assembly of Slovenia adopts Declaration of Sovereignty. Serb police prevent Albanian delegates to Assembly of Kosovo from entering building; 114 of 123 delegates hold street session and adopt Constitutional Declaration proclaiming Kosovo republic, as ‘equal and independent unit within the Yugoslav federation’.
5 July. Assembly of Serbia annuls Assembly and Government of Kosovo and takes over their powers.
12 July. Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) founded in Sarajevo; president Radovan Karadžić.
25 July. Big SDS meeting in Srbo (Lika), at which Vojislav Šešelj receives ovation, and many of those present are wearing chetnik emblems. Declaration proclaims that ‘nations, not republics, secede’ and that ‘Serb nation . . . pronounces null and void for the Serb nation in Croatia all constitutional and legislative amendments which deny their sovereignty as a nation’.
29 July. Federal prime minister Marković announces formation of his own party, Alliance of Reform Forces, with which he intends to contest elections in remaining republic elections and develop platform to compete at federal level with non-communist parties in republics; he experiences complete lack of success.
2 Aug. A group of V. Šešelj’s chetniks destroy foundation stone of Prohor Pćinjski monastery, which commemorated proclamation there of Macedonian statehood within Yugoslav federation by Macedonian partisan parliament in 1944.
12 Aug. First openly armed sentries in Serb villages in northern Dalmatian hinterland. JNA and part of police linked to SDS distribute arms to Serb population.
17 Aug. Armed Serb extremists block traffic in Knin Krajina and southern Lika, abusing and looting vehicles. Two helicopters of Ministry of Interior of Croatia set off to take control of police stations in Obrovac, Benkovac and Knin, which have revoked obedience to authorities, but are intercepted by two MIGs of Yugoslav Air Force and forced to return to Zagreb.
18 Aug. Croatian Democratic Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina (HDZBiH) founded in Sarajevo; after D. Peronivić’s brief mandate, Stjepan Kljuić becomes president.
7 Sept. Assembly of Kosovo meets secretly in Kaçanik and adopts Constitution of Republic of Kosovo.
10 Sept. Slovenia and Croatia propose confederal model for peaceful reorganization of Yugoslavia; representatives of government and press in Serbia and Montenegro ridicule it.
5 Oct. Members of JNA forcibly occupy Republic General Staff of TO Slovenia in Ljubljana.
17-18 Nov. First round of free elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina (second round 1-2 December) – SDA: 29/6% votes, 33/1% mandate; SDS 23.5% votes, 26.5% mandate; HDZ 14.4% votes, 16.2% mandate; three parties share power; President of Presidency A. Izetbegović (SDA): Presidency constituted 20 Dec., President of Assembly Momćilo Krajišnik (SDS), President of Government Jure Pelivan (HDZ).
10-11 Nov. First round of democratic elections in Macedonia; relative majority won by VMRO-DPMNE (31.67% votes; 37% mandate), but government composed of left—centre coalition; Kiro Gligorov elected President.
19 Nov. Communist League – Movement for Yugoslavia (SK-PJ) founded in Belgrade; led by retired and active JNA generals, with ideology of rigid communism and programme of centralization.
8-9 Dec. First round of multi-party elections in Serbia and Montenegro; only two republics in which communists are victorious, so that government remains unchanged both structurally and as to personalities.
22 Dec. New Constitution of Croatia adopted.
23 Dec. Plebiscite in Slovenia on sovereignty and independence; 93.2% turn-out, of which 86% vote Yes.
28 Dec. Serbia illegally interrupts primary currency issue of National Bank of Yugoslavia.
9 Jan. Presidency of SFRY issues order to disarm all ‘paramilitary formations’ – without effect, since government of Croatia considers Serb police who do not recognize authority of Zagreb as ‘paramilitaries’, but Presidency has in mind National Defence Council (ZNG), since it does not recognize republic law on basis of which it was formed under auspices of regular police force of Croatia. In a speech to visitors to Centre of Military Academies in Belgrade, deputy federal Minister of Defence, Admiral Stane Brovet, announces that officers who do not join the SK-PJ will lose their jobs. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, start of year-long commemoration of Serb victims of Second World War, organized by Serbian Orthodox Church, SDS and Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) of Vuk Drašković; bones are removed from karst pits and explicit calls for revenge are made (‘the descendants of victims’, Serbs, ‘neither wish to nor are able to live with the descendants of murderers’, Croats and Bosniaks). Karadžić even descends theatrically into one of the pits.
25 Jan. Presidency of SFRY, despite pressure from Serbia and Montenegro, passes decision not to permit military intervention by JNA in Croatia. Assembly of Macedonia proclaims Declaration of sovereignty and independence; no reaction from Belgrade.
30 Jan. JNA military court in Zagreb issues order to detain for enquiry Croatian Minister of Defence Martin Špegelj, but government contests legality of demand, since Minister is acting in accordance with republic law.
21 Feb. Croatian Assembly proclaims that in event of conflict of laws, republic law has precedence over federal law, and adopts resolution on initiation of proceedings to withdraw from SFR Yugoslavia.
28 Feb. Serb National Council of Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina, formed from municipalities with Serb majority, but including some without such majority, adopts Declaration on ‘Separation’ from Croatia. It states that ‘the Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina remains within the state of Yugoslavia’ with Serbia, Montenegro, ‘and the Serb nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other nations and republics that accept a common state’.
1 Mar. In Pakrac Serb policemen occupy police station; forced to flee in action by regular police of Ministry of Interior.
4 Mar. Feigned evacuation of women and children from Serb villages in Danube basin in Serbia to create impression that they are threatened with massacre and to mobilize Serbian public; buses with Vojvodina and Bijeljina (Bosnia-Herzegovina) licence plates come to collect them.
12-13 Mar. Attempt at extraordinary session of the Presidency of SFRY to declare state of emergency fails to gain majority (4 against 4: opposed by Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia).
14 Mar. Borisav Jović announces on TV Belgrade his resignation from post of President of Presidency of SFRY, and Milošević immediately states that he does not recognize decisions of incomplete Presidency, in attempt to introduce unconstitutional situation in which JNA could take over government. Military leadership desists, and Jović withdraws resignation.
15 Mar. Independence of Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina proclaimed in Knin.
25 Mar. Meeting between Tuđman and Milošević in Karađorđevo; many indications that theme was collaboration to bring down federal government and partition Bosnia-Herzegovina (another meeting on 15 Apr. in Tikveš).
30 Mar. At founding Assembly of Association of Serbs from Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Belgrade, statement of Karadžić and Serbian Orthodox Bishop Amfilohije Radović on creation of a ‘united Serb state’ is met with ovation.
31 Mar. Police units of Ministry of Interior of Croatia attacked in Plitvice by Serb paramilitary units; one policeman killed, injuries on both sides.
1 Apr. Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina adopts decision to join Serbia, to which Serbia has never officially reacted.
2 May. 12 members of Ministry of Interior of Croatia killed in ambush in Borovo Selo; under pretext of ending clash, JNA conducts itself as sponsor of local Serb paramilitary units.
First meeting this month of all representatives of military wing of Bosnian Herzegovinan Patriotic League on Trebević mountain near Sarajevo.
15 May. Serb bloc in Presidency of SFRY obstructs regular annual rotation of post of President (Croat representative Stjepan Mesić was due to take over).
19 May. Referendum in Croatia: 84.94% turnout, of which 93.24% vote for ‘sovereign and independent state’, and 5.38% to ‘remain in Yugoslavia as a single federal state’.
28 May. National Defence Council (ZNG) publicly presented in Zagreb; commander in chief Martin Špegelj.
6 June. Izetbegović and Gligorov propose so-called asymmetric (graduated) federation as a solution to the crisis.
10 June. Council for National Defence of the Muslim nation, with Patriotic League as its military wing, founded in Sarajevo under auspices of SDA at meeting of 356 leading Bosniak public employees from all Yugoslavia, held in Sarajevo in Police Hall.
12 June. Meeting between Izetbegović, Milošević and Tuđman in Split, without results; at press conference Milošević supports Serb para-government in Knin.
15 June. Meeting in Ljubljana of delegations from Croatia and Slovenia to agree on harmonizing independence moves.
17 June. Rašković founds Homeland Front, which announces that its purpose is to unite Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina and Bosnian Krajina in ‘a single federal unit if Yugoslavia breaks up’.
21 June. In Belgrade American Secretary of State James Baker states opposition both to use of force to preserve Yugoslavia and to Slovenian and Croatian independence projects.
25 June. Assemblies of Croatia and Slovenia proclaim sovereignty and independence.
26 June. Federal government proclaims decision illegal, issues order to prohibit changes to border signs at crossings into Italy, Austria and Hungary, and authorizes federal police and JNA to take control of federal borders, upon which delegations of the two republics walk out of Federal Assembly.
27 June. Military leadership uses decision of federal government to attempt coup in Slovenia; JNA forces move into Slovenia, as well as parts of two corps into western Croatia. Slovenian police and TO set up road blocks and carry out first clashes with units of JNA and TO of Slovenia. Despite previous agreement, Croatia declares its neutrality. General Špegelj presents new plan for defence of Croatia to Tuđman, who rejects it in belief that JNA will not attack.
30 June-1 July. Under pressure from three-member delegation of European Community, Mesić is elected as president at midnight session of Presidency of SFRY.
2 July. About 300 families of recruits in Slovenia enter Assembly of Serbia and call for their return to Serbia. From this moment resistance to call-up in Serbia grows.
5 July. EC introduces arms embargo against SFRY and freezes all financial aid.
7 July. Negotiations under EC auspices in Brioni formally end war in Slovenia; Slovenia and Croatia accept three-month freeze on implementation of decisions on independence.
8 July. US Government, which on 2 July announced that it did not support use of force for preservation of SFRY and that it would accept independence of republics if gained by peaceful means, joins EC embargo.
10 July. Serb paramilitary units loot and burn village of Ćelije near Vukovar and expels all its inhabitants, who are Croats, in Osijek direction.
18 July. Massacre of Croatian population in Dalje on Danube; following day, expulsion of remaining Croats from there and also from Aljmaš, Erdut and Sarvaš.
2 Aug. All parties represented in Assembly sign an agreement on forming government of democratic unity for effective defence of Croatia; president Franjo Gregurić.
14 Aug. Serb police loot and burn Croat villages around Petrinje and expel population.
16 Aug. In Psunje (western Slavonia), JNA arm and exercise about 2,000 members of Serb paramilitary; following day armoured units of JNA Banja Luka corps cross river Sava on pontoon bridges in support of insurgents in region, especially in attacks on Pakrac.
21 Aug. Vice president of Serbian government, Borisav Košutić, announces that internal borders of Yugoslavia are not legitimate and must be altered, especially in case of Serbia.
23 Aug. JNA and Serb paramilitaries occupy Baranja.
25 Aug. Seven officers and five soldiers (2 Croats, 2 Serbs, 1 Albanian) who have fled from JNA barracks, not wanting to participate in aggression, give themselves up to police in Ogulino.
30 Aug. Mothers of JNA soldiers from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia come to Belgrade to demand that their sons be released from army.
7 Sept. Peace Conference for Yugoslavia, chaired by Lord Carrington and held under EU auspices, opens in The Hague; basis for negotiations: inalterability of internal borders by force, and ensuring rights of minorities. Between 25 June and this date, 569 officers have resigned from JNA.
8 Sept. JNA and Serb police attack Pakrac. Referendum in Macedonia: more than 70% vote for independence; Albanians boycott the vote.
10 Sept. Bosnia-Herzegovina invites EC to send observers to its territory.
11 Sept. In Mirkovici (Vinkovci) group of conscripts from Serbia (30 Hungarians, 1 Serb), with two armoured vehicles and a lorry, give themselves up to Croatian forces.
12 Sept. In Trebinje SDS proclaims Serb Autonomous Region of eastern Herzegovina; thus on same pattern as in Croatia, process of formation of parallel authorities also begins in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During entire second half of year Ministry of Interior of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina stops lorries with false documents, transporting arms to Serb villages, but are obliged under JNA pressure to let them pass.
14 Sept. All JNA barracks in Croatia blockaded; ZNG and police take over large depot near Ploće in which there were Croatian TO arms.
17 Sept. In Igalo, under auspices of EC mediator Carrington, Tuđman, Milošević and Kadijević accept immediate ceasefire; fierce fighting on Šibenik and Vukovar access roads; start of surrender of series of JNA barracks.
18 Sept. President of Federal government A Marković calls for resignation of Kadijević and his deputy Brovet, which they ignore. Culmination of JNA and Serb police attacks on many Croatian towns. Large group of ‘reservists’ from Montenegro come to JNA barracks in Mostar and terrorize civilians; more and more Bosniaks flee eastern Herzegovina. Tuđman appoints Gojko Šušak, until then Minister of Emigration, as Minister of Defence of Croatia.
20 Sept. On TV Belgrade Gen. Kadijević announces ‘military action’ against Croatia, in reality formally proclaiming war. At this time JNA in Croatia has 4 infantry corps deployed in Croatia, half the Air Force and almost the entire Navy. Independent Podgorica weekly Monitor states that during summer 52% of Montenegrin reservists have rejected call-up, and that JNA has killed seven Montenegrin soldiers who did not want to go to war.
21 Sept. Formation of Chief of Staff of Croatian Army; commanding officer Gen. Anton Tus, members Gen. Petar Stipetić, Gen. Franjo Fredi, Col. Imra Agotić, Adm. Stevo Letica, Frigate Capt. Davor Domazet and others. In mysterious circumstances, police kill vice-president of HSP A Paradžik, advocate of Croat-Bosniak alliance and of integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and political creator of Croatian Defence Force (HOS). In Croatia these volunteer troops merge into Croatian Army, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina they begin to form.
25 Sept. UN Security Council Resolution 713 imposes arms embargo, prohibiting supply of weapons and military equipment to all republics of SFRY.
1 Oct. JNA and Montenegrin paramilitary troops begin to attack Dubrovnik. In this operation Croat village of Ravno, south-west of Trebinje, is destroyed on 2 Oct, and the population killed or expelled, which is first explicit act of war on Bosnian soil.
3 Oct. JNA mounts general sea blockade of Croatian ports; Dubrovnik, Zadar, Sisak, Vinkovce, Osijek etc. are shelled.
7 Oct. Three-month moratorium having elapsed, Slovenia activates its Declaration of Independence, and JNA decides to begin withdrawal from this republic on 25 Oct. Two Yugoslav Air Force fighter aircraft fire missiles at Banski dvori in Zagreb, in which are Tuđman, Mesić and Marković.
8 Oct. Assembly adopts decision that ‘Republic of Croatia abrogates state-legal relations on the basis of which along with the other republics and regions it formed until now SFRY’ and ‘repudiates the legitimacy and legality of all bodies of the former Federation’. Cyrus Vance appointed as personal envoy of UN Secretary General.
10 Oct. Hand to hand combat in Vukovar. Intense attack on Sisak, fighting in Pakrac, around Drniš Croat villages are burned and their inhabitants expelled.
14-15 Oct. During Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina session, in debate on status of republics in newly arisen state-legal circumstances, Karadžić states that Muslim (Bosniak) nation could ‘disappear’ if republics seek independence. Assembly adopts Declaration on Bosnia-Herzegovina as ‘sovereign and indivisible state of equal nations’.
17 Oct. JNA expels non-Serb population (Croats and Slovenes) from Ilok and surrounding villages.
18 Oct. EC plan, presented at The Hague Conference, provides for Yugoslavia to be community of sovereign states cooperating in financial and trade issues and security, with Council of Ministers, Executive Commission and Appeals Court as joint institutions. Republics that so desire would be recognized as independent with existing borders. Minorities would be permitted dual citizenship. Serbia refuses, Montenegro accepts, then withdraws acceptance, remainder accept.
24 Oct. Delegates in Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina from nationalist Serb parties found Assembly of the Serbian Nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Nov. According to government data, 460,000 people (10% of total population) are displaced; as well as in free territory, they are living in Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, etc.
8 Nov. EC Council of Ministers introduces trade sanctions against SFRY, which de facto no longer exists, and proposes to UN Security Council imposition of oil embargo. Yugoslav Navy again blockades Croatian ports.
9-10 Nov. In referendum organized by SDS, ‘the Serb nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina votes to remain in Yugoslavia with all those who wish to do so’.
11 Nov. New JNA attack on Dubrovnik.
12 Nov. Under leadership of vice-president of HDZBiH, Mate Boban, secret meeting held in Grude of 22 local party leaders from Herzegovina and Central Bosnia. Conclusion, with reference to agreements with Tuđman in Zagreb of 13 and 20 June, ‘calls for formulation and publication of legal and political documents (proclamation of Croatian Banovina in Bosnia-Herzegovina, holding referendum on joining Republic of Croatia as first stage on the road to a final solution of the Croat issue and creation of a Sovereign Croatia within its ethnic and historical (now possible) borders’.
16 Nov. Croatian Navy and coastal artillery damage or sink some Yugoslav Navy ships around central Dalmatian islands and Pelješac peninsula.
17 Nov. Macedonia adopts Constitution establishing it as sovereign and independent state.
18 Nov. JNA, TO of Serbia and Serb police occupy Vukovar – some civilians flee, some are killed, some taken to camps in Serbia. JNA Knin Corps kills civilians in Škabrnja (81) and Nadino (18) in the northern Dalmatian hinterland. In Grude, Croatian Community of Herzeg Bosna (HZH-B) proclaimed as ‘political cultural, economic and territorial unity’ of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina (comprising 38 municipalities in which Croats are in majority or where HDZBiH won elections, but also some not meeting those criteria); seat in Mostar, president Mate Boban. Announcement that Community will ‘respect the democratically elected authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as long as Bosnia-Herzegovina retains state independence from the former or any future Yugoslavia’.
20 Nov. Bosnia-Herzegovina requests UN troops.
30 Nov. JNA Banja Luka Corps makes foray towards Virovitica, but Croatian Army halts and repels it.
2 Dec. Meeting between Izetbegović and commanding officer of Patriotic League, S Halilović, in Sarajevo suburb of Hrasnica, on organization of defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Dec. Blockade of all Croatian ports except Dubrovnik lifted. There follows fiercest attack yet on Dubrovnik. 10-13,000 people protest in Cetinje, organized by Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, shouting Screams from Lovćena vila – forgive us, Dubrovnik! It is the relatively largest anti-war gathering in the rump of former Yugoslavia (2% of the total population of Montenegro). Unlike protests in Serbia and others in Montenegro, which were spontaneous, without organized programme and politically ill thought out (except the activities of group of intellectuals Belgrade Circle, and association Mothers in Black), protest organized by the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro had clear manifesto: not only in principle opposed to force, but also for recognition of all republic borders, independent statehood OF republics, free elections and punishment of criminals, and strong note of apology for ill deeds of Montenegrin soldiers and police in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. OTHER MAJOR PROTESTS: CETINJE 1 FEBRUARY; PODGORICA 23 FEBRUARY, 13 JULY AND 25 AUGUST 1992. CO-ORGANIZED BY ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT INTELLECTUALS CITIZENS’ FORUM OF MONTENEGRO.
9 Dec. Arbitration (Badinter) Commission submits report to Peace Conference in The Hague with conclusion that SFRY is in process of dissolution.
13 Dec. In Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, angry families of JNA soldiers demand that their sons be withdrawn from battlefield in Croatia. Legal government of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact without influence on JNA.
17 Dec. EC invites all republics wishing to do so to submit request for international recognition by 24 Dec., to be considered by Arbitration Commission. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, as well as Kosovo, respond, while Serbia and Montenegro reject Arbitration Commission view that SFRY is in dissolution, state that in fact some republics are seceding, and claim sole right to succession.
19 Dec. Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina proclaims itself state with name Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) with Knin as capital; president Milan Babić. Paramilitary units and units of TO and JNA on its territory to be called Serbian Army of Krajina (SVK).
20 Dec. A Marković tenders resignation from position of President of federal government.
21 Dec. Assembly of Serbian Nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina adopts decision to form Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on territory of what was thus far proclaimed as Serb Autonomous Region, including almost all of Sarajevo. President Radovan Karadžić.
23 Dec. Germany announces recognition of Croatia and Slovenia, decision to take effect on 15 Jan. 1992.
25-26 Dec. Croatian President, against all military logic, halts successful counter-offensive of Croatian Army in western Slavonia.
30 Dec. At New Year press conference in Zagreb, Tuđman tells journalists that three-way partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina (areas linked to Serbia and to Croatia respectively, and independent Bosniak state in central part of the country) ‘best suits the long-term interests of all three nations’ and wider regional stability.
2 Jan. Gojko Šušak and JNA Gen. Andrija Rašeta sign agreement on unconditional ceasefire in Sarajevo; JNA pulls back relieved troops into territory of RSK and into Bosnia-Herzegovina, where it deploys them on strategic routes and around major towns.
8 Jan. UN Security Council authorizes UN peace force (UNPROFOR: 10,000 troops envisaged) as part of so-called Vance Plan FOR CROATIA.
9 Jan. SDS proclaims Republic of the Serbian Nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Karadžić states that ‘united Bosnia-Herzegovina no longer exists’. Milošević issues secret order for all JNA officers born in Bosnia-Herzegovina to return there.
9 Jan. Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed; its leadership states that Presidency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia-Herzegovina no longer represent interests of Bosnian Serbs in international organizations and conferences.
14 Jan. Zagreb newspaper Vjesnik publishes Open Letter of 6 Croat intellectuals from Bosnia-Herzegovina warning that Tuđman’s New Year statement is expression of ‘political irresponsibility’ with likely catastrophic consequences for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Bosniaks and entire Croatian nation.
15 Jan. European Union (EU) recognizes Slovenia and Slovenia, recognition of Macedonia deferred because of opposition from Greece, which sees name Macedonia as expression of territorial ambitions, while Bosnia-Herzegovina is called upon to hold referendum.
25 Jan. Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which SDS and SPO delegates no longer sit, adopts decision to announce referendum on independence.
2 Feb. in Široki Brijeg, S Kljuić replaced, as President of HDZBiH, by Mate Boban as puppet of party central office in Zagreb.
7-8 Feb. Military consultation of commanding officers of regional and General Staff of Patriotic League in Mehurići near Travnik; introductory presentation of S Halilović will be basis for later official Directive for the Defence of the Sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Feb. International Conference on Bosnia-Herzegovina begins in Sarajevo under EU auspices; chaired by Portuguese Jose Cutilheiro.
16 Feb. In RSK Babić dismissed for refusing to accept Vance Plan.
21 Feb. UN Security Council Resolution 743 establishes UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) which, on the basis of Vance Plan, is deployed on Croatian territory under control of Serb para-authorities, organized into four sectors.
25 Feb. General Staff of Patriotic League, meeting in Hrasnica, near Sarajevo, adopts Directive for the Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
27 Feb. Two days before referendum in Bosnia-Herzegovina, secret meeting held in Graz of representatives of Croatian government (President’s adviser Zvonko Lerotić, principal of Office for the Protection of Constitutional Order Josip Manolić) and Serbs from Bosnia-Herzegovina (R Karadžić and member of Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina Nikola Koljević).
29 Feb.-1 Mar. Referendum on independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Immediately after voting booths are closed, during night of 1-2 Mar., SDS sets up barricades around Sarajevo to prevent ballot boxes from being collected.
3 Mar. Results of referendum published: 63.4% turnout, 92.68% affirmative votes, and 0.19% withdrawn. Government of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaims independence, whereupon open aggression begins in following days: 7 Mar. attacks on villages around Ćapljina; 8 Mar. JNA artillery from Tuzla moves towards Sava; 15 Mar. Serb paramilitary units attack suburbs of Bosanski Brod; firing in Bosniak villages around Goražde; 19 Mar. Serb artillery fires on Neum.
13 Mar. Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina defers further military service in JNA for recruits from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Mar. Lisbon Agreement (Cutilheiro Plan) provides for respect for borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina and its administrative decentralization; national majority in certain municipalities appears for first time among criteria for decentralization, and will remain a constant of all international plans.
24 Mar. So-called Assembly of the Serbian Nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, meeting in Pale, pronounces itself against independent and sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Mar. In heaviest bombardment so far, about 2000 rocket-launched projectiles fired at Bosanski Brod.
28-29 Mar. Congress of Serbian intellectuals (about 500 participants) in Sarajevo, organized by SDS, at which there is open talk of ethnic maps for partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and letter of Dobrica Ćosić is read out with proposal that Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats separate and redraw borders ‘so that we may eliminate the reasons for hating and killing each other’. Declaration also states that only solution for Bosnia-Herzegovina is ‘a tripartite union in which Serbs will be sovereign within their own borders’.
1-3 Apr. Arkan’s Serb volunteer guards, under auspices of JNA, occupy strategically important town of Bijeljina: at least 500 Bosniaks killed, remainder expelled from town. Members of Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina Biljana Plavšić, Jerko Doko and Fikret Abdić visit Bijeljina. Plavšić expresses to Arkan special ‘gratitude for protecting the Serbian nation’. By end of the month Bosniaks from entire Podrinje region killed and expelled (Zvornik occupied 10 Apr., Višegrad 13 Apr.). 3 Apr. JNA and armed detachments of SDS take over power in Banja Luka, and first shells fall on Mostar, where by end of month JNA and chetniks reach Neretva.
4 Apr. SDS militia attack Police Academy of Ministry of Interior of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Vraca (Sarajevo). Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina orders general mobilization, whereupon Plavšić and Koljević tender resignation. Following day SDS sets up street barricades in Sarajevo with armed, masked guards.
6 Apr. EU recognizes Bosnia-Herzegovina, USA recognizes Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. Serbian terrorists fire on peaceful anti-war protesters outside Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo (4 dead, 6 wounded); elements of Special police loyal to legal government (commanding officer Dragan Vikić) discover series of snipers’ nests in the city.
7 Apr. Croatia recognizes Bosnia-Herzegovina within its existing borders, while also offering Croats option of dual citizenship.
8 Apr. Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaims state of immediate threat of war and founds General Staff of Territorial Defence of Republic of Bosnia (GSTORBiH) and Herzegovina; commanding officer Col. Hasan Efendić, chief of staff Col. Stjepan Šiber, deputy chief of staff Jovan Divjak, members Abdulah Kajević – communications and mobilization system, Franko Plećko – logistics, Kerim Lućarević – commanding officer of Military Police, and others. In Grude (Herzegovina), Croatian Defence Council (HVO) founded as ‘sole institutional form of defence’ of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina; a large number of Bosniaks also join it. Under the auspices of the Croatian Party of Rights, HOS is also formed, of mixed composition.
12 Apr. General Staff of Patriotic League (commanding officer Kemo Karišik) merged into General Staff of TORBiH.
16 Apr. During following three days 187 JNA officers, mainly Bosniaks and Croats and a group of Albanians, come over to TORBiH.
26 Apr. A Izetbegović signs agreement on withdrawal of JNA from Bosnia-Herzegovina with B Kostić, representing illegitimate Presidency of Yugoslavia.
27 Apr. Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY: Serbia with Vojvodina and Kosovo, and Montenegro) proclaimed in Belgrade.
30 Apr. UN High Commission for Refugees estimates that Bosnia-Herzegovina already has more than 400,000 refugees and displaced persons (122,000 in Bosnia-Herzegovina itself, 201,000 in Croatia, 61,000 in Serbia, 12,000 in Montenegro, 10,000 in Slovenia, etc.).
2-3 May. JNA seize Izetbegović at Sarajevo airport on his return from negotiations in Lisbon; in fierce street fighting defenders thwart attempt of JNA to bisect city; Izetbegović exchanged for commanding officer of Sarajevo Corps Gen. M Kukanjac. In Bosnian Krajina, particularly in Banja Luka and Prijedor region, mass killings and expulsions of non-Serb population begin, and series of concentration camps set up (JNA military range in Manjaća, Keraterm factory, village of Trnopolje, Omarska mine) through which about 50,000 Bosniaks and Croats will pass by end of summer (many killed). Bosniak villages (Kozarac, Hambarine) and Croat villages (Ivanjska, Trn) looted, burned and destroyed, as well as Islamic and Catholic religious buildings and monuments. In Brćko, days’ long massacre of Bosniak and Croat population in Luka camp. During month JNA withdraws without incident from Macedonia.
4 May. Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaims Serbia aggressor, and Izetbegović calls for international intervention.
6 May. Boban and Karadžić in discussions in Graz ‘with the intention to end the reasons for armed conflict of Croats and Serbs on the entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina’, but no agreement reached, since they cannot agree on ‘redrawing borders of the Serb and Croat nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina by agreement’ (e.g., in Herzegovina SDS demands border along Neretva, and HDZ demands all Mostar and Stolac).
15 May. Ratko Mladić, commanding officer of Knin Corps, appointed commanding officer of Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), formed of elements of JNA and TO with paramilitary units of SDS.
15 May. UN Security Council Resolution 752 calls for ‘JNA units and elements of the Croatian Army’ to withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina or to place themselves under control of authorities in Sarajevo. USA withdraws its ambassador from Belgrade.
20 May. Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina adopts decision to form Armed Forces of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (RBiH): GSTORBiH becomes General Staff of Armed Forces of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 May. Sefer Halilović appointed chief of staff of General Staff of Armed Forces of RBiH. Croatian Army liberates Križ hill near Zadar, from which SVK is firing on Zadar and Adriatic highway.
27 May. First major massacre of civilians in Sarajevo; from VRS positions 3 shells land on civilians queuing for bread (about 20 dead, about 100 injured). VRS artillery fires across Sava at children’s playground in Slavonski Brod (3 dead).
30 May. UN Security Council Resolution 757 imposes sanctions on Yugoslavia, stating failure to respect Resolution 752; ‘elements’ of Croatian Army no longer mentioned, since Croatian Army now in parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Posavina, Herzegovina) by agreement with authorities in Sarajevo, as ally of Armed Forces of RBiH. Yugoslav Navy evacuated from Vis island, and following day from Lastovo.
8 June. UN Security Council gives approval for peace forces to take over control of Sarajevo airport to establish air lift for delivery of humanitarian aid; airport until then held by VRS.
15 June. Dobrica Ćosić elected as President of FRY.
16 June. Croat and Bosniak forces launch counter-attack in Mostar, liberating town in following days and forcing aggressor back towards Trebinje. As part of operation, HOS units reach abandoned Trebinje, but are halted by political pressure from HDZ and HVO.
20 June. Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaims state of war, orders general mobilization and adopts Platform for Presidency functions during state of war.
21 June. Croatian Army liberates part of municipality of Drniš.
26 June. According to data from Office for Refugees of Republic of Croatia, 277,000 refugees and displaced persons from regions under control of RSK are living in free areas of Croatia.
28 June. French President Mitterrand comes to Sarajevo, symbolically ‘opening’ airport; suspicion remains that real aim of visit was to prevent possible international military action. Parallel command lines of Croatian President, separate from General Staff of Croatian Army, order withdrawal of Croatian Army and HVO from parts of Bosnian Posavina despite favourable military conditions. This enables Serb forces from Banja Luka and Bijeljina directions to link up and form corridor as vital communication between Serbia and parts of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina under Serb para-governmental control, whose army occupies Derventa, Modrića, Odžak and Bosanski Šamac.
3 July. HZH-B announces that because of breakdown of state administration ‘provisional executive governance is established in liberated and defended territories’, adding that this ‘in no way calls into question the sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina’ and that HVO is ‘considered an integral part of the united defence forces under the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina’.
4 July. By decree of Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, TORBiH renamed Army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ARB-H).
6 July. Envoys of HDZBiH and SDA meet in Međugorje to discuss forms of decentralization of country, but ever greater mistrust and conceptual gulf are evident, in light of importance of ethnic affiliation of population in possible organization of ‘cantons’.
7 July. Croatian Army, after four-day battle, breaks siege of Dubrovnik.
12 July. Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina takes over authority over General Staff from Ministry of Defence, which is headed by member of HDZ.
21 July. Izetbegović and Tuđman sign agreement in Zagreb recognizing status of HVO as legal military force forming, with ARB-H, the Armed Forces of RbiH, and announcing military cooperation at state level.
2 Aug. Military police of HVO kill HOS commanding officer B Kraljević, advocate of Croat-Bosniak alliance, near Mostar in murky circumstances; HOS breaks up: Croats join HVO, Bosniaks ARB-H. American and British media publicize existence of concentration camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina where Bosniaks and Croats are being held.
3 Aug. Izetbegović calls on UN Security Council to permit Bosnia-Herzegovina to acquire arms on basis of Art. 51 of UN Charter, which guarantees right to self-defence to states under attack. UNPROFOR command, headquartered in Belgrade, begins to operate from Zagreb.
12 Aug. Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina changes name to Republika Srpska (RS).
26-27 Aug. Final Declaration of London conference formulates conditions for political resolution of crisis: all former republics must recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina, borders may be altered only by agreement of all interested parties, national communities and minorities must be guaranteed all rights, and all refugees and displaced persons have right to return. Provides for creation of international peace force under auspices of UN Security Council, which would maintain ceasefire and supervise troop movements. Stated aim is to ‘take all necessary measures to establish mutual confidence.’
3 Sept. New permanent conference on Yugoslavia begins work, chaired by David Owen (for EU) and Cyrus Vance (for UN). Fifth Corps of ARB-H formed by decision of Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Sept. UN Security Council Resolution 776 authorizes sending of peace forces to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6-8 Oct. Croatian Army and HVO leave Bosanski Brod, so that VRS occupies entire Bosnian bank of river Sava except Orašje. Since southern parts of municipality Brćko and Gradaćac have been successfully defended, southernmost part of corridor is only 5 km wide, but will remain to conclusion of the war and will continually – as key point for maintaining Serb war gains – be focus of behind-the-scenes political and diplomatic games. General conviction is that, without these calculations, ARB-H, Croatian Army and HVO could have cut corridor at any stage of war.
9 Oct. UN Security Council Resolution 781 imposes ban on flights in Bosnia-Herzegovina airspace.
First half Oct. 7th Muslim Brigade formed within structure of 3rd Corps ARB-H in Zenica (includes Muslim forces from Travnik), first large unit of ARB-H that explicitly declares its aim to be ‘fight for the faith’. Volunteers from Near and Middle East also appear in this region, terrorizing local Serb, Croat and Bosniak population.
25 Oct. HVO carries out surprise attack on ARB-H troops in Prozor and expels Bosniaks from town; many are killed.
28 Oct. Negotiations in Geneva formally reject concept of partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina into three ethnic republic and declares for decentralized constitutional structure within existing borders. Bosnia-Herzegovina would be restructured into 7 to 10 provinces with high level of autonomy, but internal borders would need to be subject of further negotiation. Central government would be located in Sarajevo, with responsibility for defence, foreign policy and trade. Presidency would have protocol function and be based on principle of rotation and representation of all nations.
29 Oct. VRS occupies Jajce, and about 25,000 Bosniaks and Croats flee towards Travnik. Break-up of joint Croat-Bosniak defence sponsored largely by political intrigues of HDZBiH. Mistrust and tensions in Croat-Bosniak relations near their peak.
18 Dec. HVO takes over power in areas it controls: disbands legal municipal assemblies, dismisses mayors and members of local government who oppose confrontation with Bosniaks, and disarms remaining Bosniak soldiers (except in Posavina); HVO and ARB-H are in the main nationally homogeneous and strongly politically opposed to each other.
20 Dec. Alija Izetbegović’s second one-year mandate as President of Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina expires, when Constitution provides for replacement (Croat is next, meaning realistically member of HDZ); SDA refuse, justifying stance by war circumstances, and Izetbegović remains in post until end of war.
29 Dec. Assembly of FRY pass vote of no confidence in President of government Milan Panić, American businessman of Serbian origin who had support of international community after FRY came into being.
2 Jan. Owen and Vance present plan to structure Bosnia-Herzegovina as state composed of 10 provinces; central government would have nine members (3 each Bosniak, Serb and Croat) and pass decisions by consensus, and composition of local authorities would maintain national structure based on 1991 census. Presented as mechanism for doing away with persecution, by implicitly defining provinces ethno-nationally it in fact acts as call for completion of ethnic homogenization. Its impact on flare-up of conflict between HVO and ARB-H is incontestable.
15 Jan. Minister of Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina Božo Rajić (HDZ) orders ARB-H troops in operational zones of area of provinces 3, 8 and 10 (Posavina, Herzegovina, part of central Bosnia with Travnik and Lašva) to be placed under HVO General Staff, which ARB-H refuses.
22 Jan. Croatian Army liberates part of northern Dalmatian hinterland (Maslenica bridge, Zemunik airport and Peruća dam near Sinje).
10 Feb. US government expresses reservations about Vance-Owen plan because of aspects that de facto build in political ‘ethnic cleansing’. Its attitude is that any peace plan must freely accept all in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that sanctions against FRY must be strengthened to prevent war spreading to Kosovo or Macedonia, that flight ban in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s air space must be strictly implemented, and that if peace agreement is reached, US, together with UN, NATO and others, will cooperate in its implementation even if it requires use of force. In central Bosnia war flares up between ARB-H and HVO. In this war within a war, mass expulsions, burning of villages and killings of civilians take place.
31 Mar. UN Security Council Resolution 816 authorizes NATO air force to shoot down aircraft violating flight ban over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mar-Apr. Although by agreement with ARB-H it is to receive 25% of consignments, HVO in Grude blockades 25 lorries with arms for Tuzla and defence of Srebrenica, which is in critical state.
16 Apr. UN Security Council Resolution 819 proclaims Srebrenica, which was about to fall into VRS hands, ‘safe area’.
25 Apr. Governments of European countries with soldiers in peace force in Bosnia-Herzegovina oppose lifting arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25-26 Apr. SDS leaders reject territorial dispositions proposed by Vance-Owen plan; plan was accepted by leaders of HDZ and SDA.
27 Apr. Strongest UN Security Council sanctions thus far against FRY enter into force.
6 May. Serbia and Montenegro introduce sanctions against Serbian paramilitaries in Bosnia-Herzegovina because of their rejection of Vance-Owen plan. UN Security Resolution 824 creates ‘safe areas’ of Sarajevo, Tuzla, Žepa, Goražde and Bihać.
5 May. Norwegian Thorwald Stoltenberg replaces Cyrus Vance as co-chair of International conference.
9 May. After several weeks’ tensions and incidents, HVO with support of Croatian Army begins general attack at dawn on eastern Mostar, which is under control of ARB-H; with superior power in heavy weapons, it systematically destroys the town, especially the old centre (9 Nov. the Old Bridge will be destroyed), and expel Bosniaks from part under its control across Neretva or take them to camps where they are systematically starved, tortured and killed (Helidrom near Mostar, Dretelj near Ćapljina, Gabela, Ljubuški). ARB-H also commits crimes against Croat civilians (Grabovica near Mostar, Uzdol near Prozor, ill-treatment of civilians in the Museum of the Revolution in Jablanica, which is transformed into camp). HVO passive on all fronts with VRS, or collaborating with it (except in Orašje, Usora and Bihać, where alliance with ARB-H is maintained), and country sinks into complete chaos. During the year Croatian President retires series of most competent and best-educated senior Croatian Army officers, opponents of conflict with ARB-H; Gen. Janko Bobetko appointed chief of staff of General Staff.
22 May. USA, Russia, Great Britain, France and Spain present plan providing for deployment of international observers on borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina with Serbia and with Croatia, presence of UNPROFOR in ‘safe areas’, formation of International War Crimes Tribunal, as well as increase in number of international observers in Kosovo and sending peace force to Macedonia.
25 May. UN Security Council Resolution 827 founds International Tribunal for War Crimes Committed on the Territory of Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with its headquarters in The Hague.
4 June. UN Security Council Resolution 836 authorizes sending additional troops to protect ‘safe areas’, and explicitly gives them mandate to use force in event of VRS attack on those areas.
8 June. Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina appoints Gen. Rasim Delić as commanding officer of General Staff of ARB-H, which de facto means replacement of S Halilović although he formally remains chief of staff.
15-16 June. Milošević and Tuđman reach agreement on partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina into ‘three national constituent units’ in flimsy confederation.
20 June. Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EU state that territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina must be respected, while simultaneously discussing with D Owen the creation of three ‘entities’ within Bosnia-Herzegovina. Izetbegović rejects offer to join negotiations between Serbia and Croatia until VRS ceases to surround ‘safe areas’.
9 July. Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina rejects Serb-Croat proposal to structure Bosnia-Herzegovina as confederation of Serb, Croat and Bosniak republics.
27-30 July. In Geneva, plenary session on Bosnia-Herzegovina: Owen, Stoltenberg, Milošević, Tuđman, Izetbegović and Bulatović, as well as Boban and Karadžić, the first time Izetbegović sits at same table with Karadžić and thus de facto recognizes him as legitimate negotiator. Debate on plan defining Bosnia-Herzegovina as union of three republics with central government with limited powers.
9 Aug. Geneva negotiations broken off when Izetbegović refuses to take part until VRS withdraws from Igman and Bjelašnica mountains. NATO approves in principle possible military action in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to take form of air strikes to protect UNPROFOR and weaken Serb siege of Sarajevo; final decision remains with UN Security Council.
15 Aug. Under this threat, VRS withdraws from Igman and Bjelašnica.
18 Aug. Karadžić, Boban and Izetbegović reach agreement on Owen-Stoltenberg proposal: provisional status of Sarajevo as demilitarized zone under two-year UN administration, with mention that agreement will enter into force if overall peace accord reached.
20 Aug. Owen and Stoltenberg present constitutional framework and territorial dispositions as package for partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina into three republics: Serbs to have approximately 53% of territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosniaks about 30% and Croats slightly under 18%. Sarajevo would have special status under UN administration, and Mostar under EU administration. SDS accepts, HDZ announces it will accept only if other two parties do so, but Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, by now de facto Bosniak, does not accept plan but adopts decision to continue negotiations.
21-22 Aug. Meeting of General Staff and senior commanding officers of ARB-H in Zenica, at which S Halilović sets out plan of operation Neretva ’93; objective: breakthrough into Neretva valley to south and defeat of HVO in Herzegovina.
28 Aug. In Grude, HZH-B proclaims Croat Republic of Herzeg Bosna (HRH-B) as state of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with Mostar as capital; President Mate Boban.
8 Sept. Izetbegović, in Washington, fails to secure assurance from President Clinton that US is ready for military intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Sept. Croatian Army liberates so-called Medaćki pocket in Lika, from which SVK was shelling Gospić; during action, crimes committed against Serbian civilians and systematic destruction of villages.
20 Sept. At meeting on British aircraft carrier Invincible, in international waters in the Adriatic, international mediators with consent of Tuđman and Milošević present plan which effectively partitions Bosnia-Herzegovina (Serbs 53%, Croats 17%, Bosniaks 30%).
24 Sept. Assembly of Republic of Croatia calls on UNPROFOR to disarm and disband Serb paramilitary units in pink zone.
27 Sept. Member of Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina F Abdić withdraws loyalty to central government, and proclaims Autonomous Region of Western Bosnia in Velika Kladuša and parts of municipality Cazin. Creates National Defence of Western Bosnia, which goes into action against Fifth Corps of ARB-H in Bihać and collaborates with SVK and VRS as well as with Croatian authorities.
29 Sept. Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina rejects Invincible plan.
21 Oct. Boban signs agreement in Zagreb on cooperation with Abdić, and following day in Belgrade Abdić signs declaration on cooperation with Karadžić.
2 Nov. Secret negotiations between Croatian government and RSK begin in Oslo.
29 Nov. EC presents its Action Plan, in effect variant of plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina as union of three republics and Invincible plan.
31 Jan. General mobilization in Republika Srpska.
3 Feb. UN Security Council calls for withdrawal of Croatian Army from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Feb. Mortar shell from Serb positions kills 68 people in Sarajevo market Markale.
6 Feb. Assembly of Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, with more than 400 representatives of political parties, cultural and professional societies, Church and prominent individuals who have from the start opposed ethnic partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina and policies of HDZ. Declaration states that Bosnia-Herzegovina is also homeland of Croats and that they want to participate in governmental bodies and negotiate on ways to decentralize country, but that ethnic criteria must not dominate.
8 Feb. At session of Central Board of HDZBiH in Livno, Boban tenders resignation; replaced by Krešimir Zubak.
9 Feb. NATO issues ultimatum to Serb forces to withdraw heavy weapons from positions around Sarajevo (to 20 km from current line), which they begin to carry out on 17 Feb.
23 Feb. ARB-H and HVO reach agreement on ceasefire.
26 Feb. Under US auspices, negotiations begin on creation of Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (FBiH), as unit in area of Bosnia-Herzegovina with Bosniak and Croat majority, with possibility to be joined also by territory with majority Serb population.
11 Mar. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia sign agreement in Split on formation of joint military command.
18 Mar. Agreement on FBiH signed; end of Croat-Bosniak war.
10 Apr. NATO air force attacks Serb positions around Goražde, to little effect.
26 Apr. First meeting of Contact Group (USA, Britain, Russia, Germany, France), formed with aim of reaching agreement between leaders of FBiH and RS. Principles: Bosnia-Herzegovina as single state with two ‘Entities’, whose relations are to be defined by agreed constitution.
12 May. US Senate votes to lift arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina; following day Russian Duma ripostes with vote to end sanctions against FRY.
13 May. Contact Group ministers clarify principle of internal partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina: 51% of territory FBiH, 49% Serb ‘Entity’.
16 May. Joint General Staff of Army of FBiH formed (ARB-H + HVO) with purpose of creating joint armed forces in transitional period of establishment of FBiH.
31 May. Constitution-forming Assembly of FBiH elects Krešimir Zubak as President of FBiH, Ejup Ganić as Vice President, and Haris Silajdžić as Prime Minister.
6 July. Contact Group presents maps for internal territorial division of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7-9 July. ARB-H Fifth Corps inflicts heavy defeat on troops of F Abdić in operation Tiger.
13 July. Milošević accepts Contact Group plan, but RS rejects it, as a result of which FRY proclaims sanctions against RS.
18 July. Government of FBiH accepts Contact Group plan.
21 Aug. ARB-H Fifth Corps, commanded by Gen. Atif Dudaković, occupies Velika Kladuša, and Abdić and population (about 20,000) flee to Croatian territory held by RSK. Corps soon withdraws.
6-7 Sept. Contact Group proposes to UN Security Council to ease sanctions against FRY since its government has allegedly broken off political and economic relations with Bosnian Serbs because of their rejection of proposed territorial ratio (VRS holds approximately 70% of territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time).
3 Nov. In first joint action after Washington Agreements, HVO and ARB-H liberate Kupres.
11 Nov. In accordance with decision of US Senate, American government announces that it will no longer participate in monitoring arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15-16 Nov. Owen and Stoltenberg represent Proposal for agreement on economic cooperation of Croatia and RSK. Proposal relates to future electricity supply and opening oil pipelines and routes Zagreb-Belgrade.
Nov. Croatian Army and HVO in Livanjsko polje begin offensive against Serb positions; objective: to enter Knin from north and relieve ARB-H Fifth Corps in Bihać, with view to linking up with it.
21 Nov. NATO bombs Udbina airport, from which RSK aircraft have been attacking Bihać.
2 Dec. Representatives of central government and RSK sign Agreement on Economic Issues in Zagreb; co-signatories are American and Russian ambassadors to Croatia, P Galbraith and L Kerestedžijanc.
1 Jan. After mediation by former US President Jimmy Carter, who had gone to Pale, ceasefire agreement signed between VRS and ARB-H.
12 Jan. Croatia rejects extension of UNPROFOR mandate after expiry of current mandate on 31 Mar.
30 Jan. EU, SAD, Russia and co-chairs of International Conference for Former Yugoslavia present Plan Z-4 for RSK (making it a de facto state within the state), which latter rejects.
20-28 Mar. ARB-H liberates Vlašić mountain and gains strategic control of large area.
31 Mar. UNPROFOR mandate in Croatia expires. UN Security Council adopts three Resolutions defining UN mission in successor states of SFRY: UNPROFOR to be divided into three organizational and military units: UNCRO (UN in Croatia) in Croatia, UNPROFOR (UN protection forces) in Bosnia-Herzegovina and UNPREDEP (UN preventive deployment) in Macedonia.
24 Apr. International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague begins enquiry against Karadžić and Mladić.
1-2 May. Croatian Army liberates remainder of western Slavonia in operation Flash; 2-3 May SVK fires rockets at Zagreb in retaliation (7 dead) and other Croatian towns, and with entire population flees into Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 May. VRS shells central square in Tuzla (71 dead), and continues shelling Sarajevo. When NATO threatens air strikes against its positions around the city, VRS takes more than 350 members of peace forces hostage and handcuffs them to bridges and similar objects as human shields.
June. Croatian Army completes occupation of Dinara mountains, which places it in strategically superior position vis-a-vis Knin.
3 June. NATO adopts decision to form Rapid Reaction Forces.
12 June. EU appoints Swede Carl Bildt as its official mediator after Owen’s resignation on 29 May.
11 July. VRS, with elements of Army of Yugoslavia, occupies ‘safe area’ of Srebrenica. Defenders and population attempt to break through to Tuzla; in and around the town VRS massacres over 7,000 civilians, including several hundred who had sought shelter in Dutch UNPROFOR battalion base, but who are handed over to VRS. Situation critical in encircled Bihać, where both arms and food have run out; serious difficulties in Goražde and Žepa.
21 July. Western allies, on US initiative, decide that NATO must take decisive action and announce heavy air strikes on VRS if it continues to attack ‘safe areas’.
22 July. Izetbegović and Tuđman, in Split, sign yet another agreement on military cooperation between the two states.
26 July. American Senate votes for proposal of Senators Dole and Lieberman for unilateral lifting of arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina (69 votes for, 29 against).
28-29 July. Croatian Army and HVO liberate Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoć. Serb population pulling out everywhere, along with VRS; Knin half surrounded.
1 Aug. Congressmen in US House of Representatives vote for unilateral lifting of arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina (298 votes for, 128 against). Possibility of direct conflict between legislative and executive authorities.
4-7 Aug. Croatian Army liberates all territory of Croatia except Danube basin in operation Storm, and links up on border with ARB-H Fifth Corps, thus lifting blockade of Bihać. Complete exodus of SVK (about 30,000) and Serb population (at least 100,000) as well as of Bosniaks (about 20,000) from Velika Kladuša after Fifth Corps enters town. Few remaining Serbs, mainly elderly, on territory of former RSK exposed during following weeks to looting and general terror, including many murders. Mass expulsions of remaining Croats and Bosniaks from Bosnian Krajina (20,000).
11 Aug. President Clinton vetoes unilateral lifting of arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina, and appoints Richard Holbrooke to begin new peace initiative.
12 Aug. Russian Parliament passes law unilaterally ending sanctions against FRY.
25 Aug. VRS occupies Žepa, killing and expelling Bosniak population.
28 Aug. Mortar shells from VRS positions kill 41 civilians in Sarajevo market Markale.
30 Aug. NATO begins systematic air strikes on VRS positions.
8 Sept. In Geneva, under auspices of Contact Group, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and FRY agree principles for accord: Bosnia-Herzegovina to retain international personality, and internal ‘Entity’ partition to be 51:49% in favour of FBiH.
12 Sept. and following days, Croatian forces liberate Drvar, Šipovo and Jajce, and ARB-H Donji Vakuf; ARB-H Fifth Corps draws near to Prijedor, and Croatian Army comes to within 25 km south of Banja Luka. VRS in disarray, and entire population of RS west of corridor begins to flee towards Serbia.
19 Sept. Under pressure from western powers, especially USA, offensive is halted, since advance of ARB-H and Croatian Army is exceeding agreed territorial ratio between ‘Entities’.
26 Sept. Contact Group announces further principles for accord: joint institutions, free elections, freedom of movement and protection of human rights. Clinton and Izetbegović reach agreement that lifting arms embargo be deferred for 4 to 6 months.
10 Oct. After resisting counter-attack of VRS, ARB-H reinforced in Sanski Most, and Croatian Army enters Mrkonjić Grad.
12 Oct. After UNPROFOR confirm that military action has ceased, Holbrooke announces that negotiations will begin on 31 Oct. and last until agreement is reached. NATO Council adopts decision to send its troops to Bosnia-Herzegovina as soon as accord is signed, in order to implement it.
1 Nov. Negotiations begin at Wright-Patterson air base in Dayton (Ohio, USA).
12 Nov. Croatian authorities and local Serbs from Danube basin sign agreement on peaceful return to that area (former Eastern Sector) under Croatian authority.
21 Nov. Accord on Bosnia-Herzegovina reached: ‘Entity’ borders determined (to meet agreed ratio, Serb ‘Entity’ returns large areas), electoral structure, instruments for protection of human rights, issue of return of refugees and displaced persons. Bosnia-Herzegovina, i.e. FBiH and RS, to have joint institutions of two-house Parliament, three-member Presidency, Council of Ministers, Constitutional Court and Central Bank.
14 Dec. Franjo Tuđman, Alija Izetbegović and Slobodan Milošević formally sign Dayton Accord in Paris, in presence of representatives of Contact Group countries.