THE BH PRESIDENCY MEETS IN ZAGREB// 06. 1993. • MUHAMED FILIPOVIC// PRESIDENT OF THE LIBERAL BOSNIAC PARTY
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
President of the Liberal Bosniac Party
THE BH PRESIDENCY MEETS IN ZAGREB
‘The chairperson of the meeting was Fikret Abdic. As the first thing on the agenda, he put the question of the election of the President of the Presidency. I considered that in fact a form of coup de état in BH, so I reacted at once and said: Gentlemen, you don’t have the right to hold this meeting here, you have no right to hold a meeting by invitation of an international policy official. You have no right to hold a meeting on the territory of another republic. If you hold a meeting at the embassy, Mrs. Turkovic has the right to cancel and break up the meeting, and third and final, you gentlemen do no have the right to perform actions that will have far reaching consequences for the constitutional and legal situation in BH. I asked the members of the Presidency. First of all Mirko Pejanovic, then Miro Lazovic and Tatjana Ljujic, ‘Why are you here?’ Before that Mr. Granic was here, too, I told him ‘What are you doing here? You have nothing to look for here, go to Sarajevo.’ And he saw my point and left. Since the members of the Presidency that I have just mentioned, claimed they had come to preserve the unity of the Presidency with Abdic, Lasic, Akmadzic, Boras, then the unity doesn’t mean anything. I went out after that and lots of journalists that were waiting asked me what was happening there. I told them ‘An attempt at a coup de état is happening here, on the territory of Croatia and under the direction of Croatian politics.’ I think that it was one of the key moments in the attempt to destabilize BH.’
• Massacre at a playing field in Dobrinja. 13 people are killed.
• Dobrica Cosic, President of the Yugoslav government, is relieved of duty.
• Moscow: BH Consul Ibrahim Djikic addresses Moscow’s biased behavior. He is contacted by the head of a Russian center for recruiting mercenaries, who promises to withdraw his men from BiH if the bodies of the three Russian mercenaries who had been killed in combat around Visegrad are retrieved.
• Mustafa Pamuk, of the City Assembly : “Many entrepreneurs have left with the intention of securing a means of getting food into the city; none of them have returned.”
• Viktor Jakovich becomes the first American ambassador to BiH.
• New York, June 5, 1993. The UN Security Council adopts a resolution on the creation of “Safe Areas.” According to this resolution, Sarajevo, Zepa, Bihac, Tuzla, Gorazde and Srebrenica are proclaimed secure areas. Members of UNPROFOR will be authorized to retaliate for any attacks on the “Safe Areas”; to monitor ceasefires; to encourage the withdrawal of military and paramilitary units; as well as to take hold of certain positions. With this resolution UNPROFOR is authorized to defend itself using any necessary measures, including the use of force, as well as to retaliate for the bombing of the “safe areas,” and any obstruction to its own freedom of movement and that of humanitarian convoys. UN members, in this case NATO members, are authorized, in cooperation with UNPROFOR and the Secretary General, to use air power to protect the “safe areas” and the mandate of UNPROFOR.
• Croats increase pressure on the Catholic Archbishop Vinko Puljic to leave Sarajevo.
• Rasim Delic appointed Commander of the ARBiH Main Staff, replacing Sefer Halilović, previous commander of the ARBiH. The head of MUP, Jusuf Pusina, is dismissed and replaced by Bakir Alispahic.
• Klaus Kinkel, German Foreign Minister: “Sanctions should be introduced against Croatia.”
• U.S. Marines enter Somalia, to prevent the spread of the conflict.
• In Geneva a joint session is held of the Presidency of BiH.
• To a question on possible military intervention in Bosnia, U.S. President Bill Clinton replies: “I can’t without allies, but I haven’t changed my mind.”
• The Bosnian Serb Army fires on people praying at a funeral. Eight people are killed at Budakovic cemetery. Mesihat: “It’s only possible to hold funerals at night.”
• Statement from Croatia: “Bosnian politicians must announce their arrivals to Croatia in advance. Visits of a private nature will not be allowed."
• Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic suggest a new map for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• Geneva, June 18, 1993. Peace negotiations in Geneva: Alija Izetbegovic, President of the Presidency of BiH rejects the peace plan.
• Athletes travelling to the Mediterreanean Games in Montpelier are stopped in Jablanica. Twenty athletes manage to get through.
• Bill Clinton wishes for an intact BiH, “…but if they agree otherwise, we will accept it.”
• The Children’s Embassy celebrates its second year with acrobatics, rock and roll, songs, contests and games.
• New York, June 20, 1993. The UN adopts a new resolution implementing the protection of the “safe areas.” The UN Security Council, with the key provisions of Resolution 844, "decide to authorize an increase of UNPROFOR forces in order to meet the UN Secretary General’s report on engaging 7,500 new soldiers.
• Geneva: Lord Owen announces: “Our biggest problem is how to coax the Muslims into continuing negotiations.”
• President of the Presidency of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, returns to Sarajevo from negotiations in Geneva. Other members of the presidency remain in Geneva to see what it will offer. After fifteen months Abdic, Lazovic, Lasic, Akmadzic, and Boras meet for the first time.
• Transmission lines are destroyed, power plants lack materials, the hydroelecrtic plant is held by the HVO and gas is at the mercy of the Bosnian Serb. There is neither water nor electricity.
• Head Commander of UNPROFOR General Morillon is dismissed.
• Members of the BH Presidency Alija Izetbegovic and Ejup Ganic will not travel to Geneva to continue negotiations because of urgent business. The other members of the Presidency are expected to return from Zagreb.
• The team behind the song entry for “Eurovision 93” sprint across the airport runway in order to reach the competition.
• A fashion show is held at the Hotel “Holiday inn”. The fashion collection is made from UNHCR bags and tarpaulins used to cover broken windows.
• The U.S. bombs Baghdad.
• Pavarotti sings in Central Park in New York.
• Various members of the Presidency of BiH discuss the partitioning of BiH at a meeting held at Sarajevo airport.
• At a session of the UN Security Council a suggestion by Islamic and non-aligned countries to lift the arms embargo on Bosnia and Herzegovina is rejected. The U.S. votes in favor; France, the U.K. and Russia against.
• Dr Bakir Nakas, a physician from the state hospital in Sarajevo: “This year was easier, though it was still terribly difficult. I know what I have, and what I can expect,what I have at my disposal and how long it’s going to last.”
THE PRESIDENCY BUILDING
The building was located in the city center. It was built in 1885 in the Neo-renaissance style and it was modeled on 15th century Florence palaces. It was the favorite target. A great number of people was killed or wounded in the streets near the building. The Presidency remained in the building throughout the war and foreign politicians or delegations were always welcomed because their visits meant a temporary respite from shelling.