DAYTON: MILOSEVIC TELLS THE BH DELEGATION THAT THEY DESERVE TO KEEP SARAJEVO // 11. 1995.
IVO KOMSIC // CROATIAN PEASANT PARTY
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

November 1995

Ivo Komsic
Croatian Peasant Party leader
DAYTON: MILOSEVIC TELLS THE BH DELEGATION THAT THEY DESERVE TO KEEP SARAJEVO

‘You know, you earned the right to have that city for yourselves. You defended that city. You were sneaking in and around like mice in there, and so on. Milosevic continued this tirade, in which he said all kinds of things, and he basically gave up on the district. He let the Federation keep Sarajevo. Let it join the Federation. Afterwards we realized that he wanted something in exchange. That something was Brcko. Because he obviously calculated that Brcko was more important than Sarajevo for preserving the homogeneity and continuity of the territory of Republika Srpska. Milosevic is known to be a good negotiator, a persistent negotiator. A man who has no scruples when negotiating. Who grinds his opponents? Silajdzic could deal with that. There was one interesting detail in all of this. Silajdzic demanded that, to Gorazde and its territory, which was supposed to go to the Federation, they add the region from Ustikolina to Gorazde. This is an important region for some other reasons, related to energy. The Drina River runs very fast there. It was strategically important, and we knew it. But it was tough to get, because the man was persistent. He didn't give for anything. He gave up only a narrow area around Gorazde and a corridor leading to it. The interesting detail occurred when at one point he asked Silajdzic, this is how Silajdzic told the story, ‘All right. Haris’, he said, ‘why are you so bent upon getting Ustikolina? There’s nothing there.’ Then Silajdzic said, ‘Yes, there is. In Ustikolina is the oldest mosque in BH.’ Then Milosevic said, ‘But Haris, there is no mosque. Those thugs of mine tore it to the ground ages ago.’ Then, since he had destroyed that argument, Silajdzic replied, ‘But you see, the ground still remains. The mosque is gone, but the ground is still there. For us that place is holy ground. We will build another mosque there.’ Then he said, ‘Haris, my friend, you’re just the same as Karadzic. They’re constantly talking about some kind of holy ground, too. And to think I considered you to be a civilized person’.’

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NOVEMBER 1995


• Strong negotiating position for the BH delegation based on the readiness of the ARBiH and HVO to liberate their country if diplomatic efforts do not bear fruit.
• Clinton: “The U.S. wants to end the war immediately”.
• Will the joint institutions of Bosnia’s divided state have enough “connective tissue”?


• Peace negotiations on Bosnia and Herzegovina begin in Dayton.
• The BiH delegation: Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Muhamed Sacirbegovic, Kresimir Zubak, Jadranko Prlic, Ivo Komsic, Miro Lazovic
• Croatian delegation: Franjo Tudjman, Hrvoje Sarinic, Mate Granic, Gojko Susak
• Yugoslav and RS delegation: Slobodan Milosevic, Miodrag Bulatovic, Nikola Koljevic, Momcilo Krajisnik, Aleksa Buha, Milan Milutinovic.


• Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin assassinated.


• Geneva, November 10th, 1995. Resolution 1019: the UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1019, which demands that the Bosnian Serbs immediately allow the UNHCR, ICRC and other international organizations access to Srebrenica, Zepa and Banja Luka to inquire what happened to the people registered as missing persons, and demands that officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all detained persons so that they can be registered; the Security Council also urges all states to cooperate fully with the International Court for War Crimes at the Hague.


• Dayton peace negotiations: Kresimir Zubak, member of the BiH delegation, objects to the maps presented, claiming he was superficially informed. According to the maps, Bosanska Posavina would remain outside of the Federation’s territory.


• William Perry, U.S. Secretary of Defense: “The Russians must obey the orders of the U.S. general or they will be forced to withdraw their forces.”
• Pavel Grachev, Russian defense minister: “The Russians seek the right of veto on all orders of the U.S. commander George Joulwan."


• Dayton, peace negotiations: Zubak resigns rather than sign the peace plan.
• U.S. troops in Germany ready for deployment.


• Dayton, peace negotiations: BiH Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbegovic resigns.


• Peace Agreement in Dayton: BiH will be a unified state with two entities and common institutions. Sarajevo will remain undivided. Extraditions agreed upon for war criminals.


• Paris will be the site of the signing of the Dayton agreement. Slobodan Milosevic is rewarded with the lifting of sanctions.


• At the same time sanctions against Yugoslavia are lifted, so will the arms embargo on BiH.


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• U.S. commander George Joulwan, who will command IFOR in Bosnia: “There is only one option – to succeed.”


• Ivo Komsic, member of the BiH delegation in Dayton: "Milosevic was more willing to sacrifice Sarajevo than to go into reintegrating BiH, because Sarajevo as a district was the start of reintegration." Milosevic tells the BiH delegation: “You deserve for it to be your city.”
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