THE FEDERATION LOSES POSAVINA// 12. 1995. • IVO KOMSIC// CROATIAN PEASANT PARTY
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Croatian Peasant Party leader
THE FEDERATION LOSES POSAVINA
‘When Milosevic gave his proposal for territorial organization, he said in his presentation when he got to the question of Posavina: ‘We’re not going to talk about Posavina. Posavina must be part of Republika Srpska, because Franjo and I made a deal a long time ago.’ That’s just what he said, that they made a deal. Zubak was sitting next to me. I nudged him with my elbow and whispered in his ear, ‘Do you hear what he’s saying.’ Zubak said, ‘He’s just bluffing.’ I whispered in his ear again that we had to react to this immediately, right there on the spot. But he said that we wouldn’t do anything of the kind. It’s a bluff. And of course, we had no microphones before us. The other members and Izetbegovic and Silajdzic were sitting at a round table where the rest were sitting. We were sitting in chairs behind their backs. Only they had microphones to talk into. We missed our chance to react immediately. When Holbrooke called for a break, he came around the table to Silajdzic, Zubak and me, and said, ‘Why didn’t you react? You should have jumped to your feet and stopped the negotiations on that point as soon as he said that he had made a deal with Franjo over Posavina.’ Then, Zubak tried to convince him that Milosevic was just bluffing, just as he had tried to convince me when we were whispering. That he had Tudjman’s absolute guarantee that Posavina would remain in the Federation. Unfortunately, to cut the story short, we all know how that turned out. It proved not to be true. The guarantees that President Tudjman gave to Zubak were not true guarantees. He kept to the agreement that he had made with Milosevic.’
• Deployment of IFOR troops in Bosnia.
• William Perry: “American soldiers will enter Bosnia in tanks, but not as cowboys that will try to pick fights with the Bosnian Serb Army.”
• UN ends its mandate in Bosnia on January 31, 1995.
• Sarajevo: tram fired upon.
• Javier Solana becomes the new Secretary General of NATO.
• The French in close military cooperation with NATO.
• The French are against the Pale referendum.
• First landing of an American “Hercules” in Tuzla.
• Ivo Komsic, member of the BiH delegation in Dayton: “If the Croatian delegation had supported the Bosnian delegation, we would have been able to obtain Posavina without difficulty, because the Americans were on our side."
• London, December 7, 1995. Peace conference on Bosnia begins in London.
• In Bonn a conference begins on BiH. BiH delegation: Kresimir Zubak, president of the Federation of BiH, Rasim Delic, commander of the ARBiH, Muhamed Sacirbegovic, foreign minister.
• The Serbs dismantle their factories during their retreat.
• Appearance of the deadly “ebola” virus in Zaire.
• Before withdrawing, the Serbs burn houses in Grbavica.
• Release of the French pilots.
• The Dayton Peace Agreement signed in Paris.
• William Perry: “NATO is the biggest and angriest dog in town.”
• Start of NATO military operations, its largest since the end of the Second World War. Operation name: “Joint endeavor”.
• Former UNPROFOR commander, General Rupert Smith, receives as a gesture of gratitude a Bosnian passport and a painting.
• The Bosnian Serbs ask Michael Steiner for 1,000 coffins and 10,000 boxes for packing as they leave the portions of territory - which are graveyards - which now belong to the Federation.
• Sarajevo: a tram is hit.
• IFOR replaces UN troops.
• President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, in Sarajevo.
• In Vitez, a New Zealander UN member dances a traditional war dance before their base.
• Clinton in a speech to Americans: “The U.S. is the world’s main creator of peace.”
• The Serbs exhume the dead to carry with them in their retreat.
• Midnight mass held at the Cathedral.
• Statements of French pilots whom were held by the Serbs after their plane crashed: “We were dying of hunger. Every three days they would throw us food.”