STUP THE FRONT LINE// 07. 1992. • ANTE JERKOVIC// CROAT COUNCIL OF DEFENSE (HVO)
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Croatian Council of Defense-HVO
STUP THE FRONT LINE
‘From the 13th to the 14th of September Serb troops first fired upon formations of the HVO on the front lines at Stup. The First Battalion, that is, the Stjepan Tomasevic Battalion from New Sarajevo set off that same evening to defend that line. At the same time we spoke to the leadership of the HOS, whose commander at the time was Ivica Bajkosa, and some HOS units set off with the HVO troops to defend that line. There was also coordination with the BH Army, at points of contact behind the lines. And I'm telling you, in those first conflicts, in comparison to the Serbs, we were at a disadvantage. This was because we were outnumbered, but also because they were better equipped for battle. We all know how poorly equipped we were in comparison to them. We mainly had firearms, and a ‘zolja’ or a grenade launcher, and so our troops had a very hard time holding that line. And so from September 1992, when Stup was taken, we constantly lost ground: first Doglodi, then Bare, down to Kozara and where the farm was. Constantly, more and more of that area that we defended came under Serb occupation until the final battle at Otes. That was where the final resistance took place. So from September 1992 until December, the end of December 1992, the area starting with Stup, Stupska petlja, and gradually including Bare, Doglodi, Azici, and Otes all came under occupation.’
• In order to protect against sniper fire, Sarajevan drivers drive through the city’s streets at great speed.
• Yeast arrives to “Velepekara” for the production of bread.
• Herzeg-Bosnia is proclaimed within the territory of BiH.
• The resale of humanitarian aid begins in different places in the city at high prices.
• A number of countries offer to participate in the air bridge for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged city.
• At a meeting of the Presidency of BiH the decision is made to replace the Public Prosecutor because of his attempts to ban the nationalist parties SDA and HDZ over six common infractions .
• Munich, July 7, 1992. Summit in Munich: The seven most-developed countries in the world adopt a special resolution on the Yugoslav crisis that places pressure on Belgrade. The seven countries supporting the EC conference on the former Yugoslavia call on all sides to continue negotiations, while at the same time demanding that all sides not impede humanitarian efforts. The resolution also states that “in the event that peace negotiations fail, the Security Council will consider other measures, among which the use of military force will not be excluded. It is also emphasized that Serbia and Croatia must respect the territorial integrity of BiH.
• The new member of the Presidency of BiH from the Serb people, Nenad Kecmanovic, flees Sarajevo.
• Student Josip Capelj gives 200,000 dinars of his savings to the Armed Forces of BiH: “I want them to liberate me.”
• Juka Prazina, city guerilla leader joins the Armed Forces of BiH with his own unit.
• Cellist Vedran Smajlovic plays on the street in the center of the city.
• The Representative of the Jewish Community in Sarajevo, Ivica Ceresnjes, says that the Jewish cemetery and chapel can be destroyed in the interest of defending the city. The Jewish cemetery is among the most dangerous strongholds of Serb snipers firing upon the citiziens of Sarajevo. Serb terrorists aim at buses, trams and passersby.
• In the neighborhood of Dobrinja, which is being attacked on two sides, a teacher, “Aunt Faiza,” soothes children with games, classes, costume parties and dances.
• Collectors try to collect TV subscription fees.
• Cellist Vedran Smajlovic sends an invitation to musicians across the world to protest against the agression against Sarajevo and BiH by playing Albioni on July 17 at 12pm.
• London, July 16, 1992. A peace conference begins in London. Lord Peter Carrington presides over the peace conference. Participants at the conference include: Haris Silajdzic, Radovan Karadzic and Mate Boban.
• Developer Mirko Mer makes a protective mask against poison gases.
• Cellist Vedran Smajlovic plays for Douglas Hurd, Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom on Vase Miskina street.
• London, July 18, 1992. A ceasefire agreement is signed in London. All sides sign a ceasefire agreement placing heavy artillery under the control of the international community. They also sign a document guaranteeing the right of refugees to return to their homes and securing the free movement to all civilians.
• The new President of the Yugoslav Government, Milan Panic, arrives in Sarajevo.
• Pharmacies in Sarajevo receive humanitarian aid in the form of enormous quantities of medicines with expired dates, as well as inadequate or irrelevant medicines, such as anti-malarial agents.
• Louis Mackenzie, UNPROFOR Commander, resigns under pressure from the media for misconduct and bias.
• A convoy of mothers and children, through the organization Children’s Embassy, leaves for Italy.
• Pension payments depend on electricity.
• 27 Olympians leave Sarajevo for Barcelona.
• Armed Forces of BiH attack the chocolate factory “Zora” with the aim of disarming guerilla units of the HVO.
• The city no longer has water. Serb terrorists hold control over all reservoirs.
• At Stup human trafficking and black marketing arises through cooperation between HVO units and Bosnian Serb forces.
• Bernard Kouchner becomes the patron of a former JNA hospital, bestowing it with the name the “French Hospital.”
• Painters exhibit their paintings in the stairwells of apartment blocks.
• Haris Silajdzic, Foreign Minister of BiH, refuses the Cutilliero plan, which in March the BiH delegation had given its approval in principle.
• Athlete Mirsada Buric trains for the World Cup in the streets of Sarajevo amid sniper fire.
• Juka Prazina, with his own unit, creates a border at Stup and halts trafficking on the way between Stup and the city.
Apart from the trenches which were used for fighting there were many trenches within the city which served primarily the civilian population. By using those labyrinths between buildings the citizens were protected against sniper fire when going to fetch water, when going to work or to meet each.