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"The role of Alija Izetbegović in the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina": Alija Izetbegović and Richard Holbrooke
PEACE IN DAYTON (6)
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Autor: Akademik prof. dr. Adamir Jerković
Objavljeno: 26. July 2023. 14:07:12
Adamir Jerković (Adamir Yerkovich) PhD is a Bosnian-Herzegovinian academic. He is the author of numerous political commentaries. He served as an advisor to the first President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegović. He held important political, state and economic posts. Adamir Jerković is the Secretary General of the Bosniak Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is the author of numerous books, essays, and articles.
The state known to millions of people around the world as Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia – does not exist anymore. Yugoslavia burned out in a terrible fire which no one could have extinguished. On its ground, at the ashes of common state, seven new countries emerged. Among them is Bosnia and Herzegovina which revived its statehood. I am coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina and I will tell you today about difficult faith of my people who survived an exterminating war.


PEACE IN DAYTON (6): In November 1995 in the American state Ohio, City of Dayton, the Government of the US organized a peace conference. After very difficult negotiations, on November 21, Dayton Peace Agreement was reached, which in the principle, as all other earlier agreements, arranged Bosnia and Herzegovina according to national key. All other previous peace negotiations were held according to national line. National division of territory was emphasized firstly by José Cutileiro's plan[1]. Neither side accepted it. Later agreements were written in the same handwriting – Bosnia and Herzegovina was divided along the lines of national stitches in several constitutive units.

In spring of 1993, a peace plan was established. It’s architects were the former highly ranked USA and Great Britain diplomats: Cyrus Vance and David Owen, but this plan formalized the military situation in the field. [2] The truth is that it planned survival of entire Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also division of the state to 10 cantons based on national principle, with police and administration, and the City of Sarajevo would have had a special status. Bosniak-Croatian side would take up 52.53% of territory. By this peace plan Serbs had to return 20 percent of occupied territory and that only condemned the plan to death.

Clinton’s administration never supported Vance - Owen’s plan due to the fact that it came at the time when the new administration took over the government in 1992 and at the beginning of 1993, as due to the fact that Washington recognized that the new plan rewards Serbian conquests and ethnic cleansing considering that, according to that plan Serbs gained the areas from which they previously expelled Bosniaks and Croats. Americans considered this plan completely impossible to implement.
After failure of Vance – Owen’s plan, international community concentrated on a new Owen – Stolberg’s plan which was prepared by the end of 1993. The military situation dictated its outlines, so Owen and Stoltenberg proposed that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be not a federation, but a loose Union with three national republics. Serbs were given 52.9 percent of territory. Bosniaks-Muslims were in a difficult position due to double aggression, and war with Croatia, that wanted to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbia, aggravated its diplomatic position. Faced with aggression from Belgrade and Zagreb, as well as indifference of the world, Bosnian Parliament accepted Owen-Stoltenberg’s plan, but due to territorial losses, Serbs withdrew from it and it became unimplementable.


Dayton Accord

By mid 1994, American politics toward Bosnia and Herzegovina was defensive, because Americans saw their war as European problem. But as presidential elections approached, interest for this war and its solution intensified in the US. Washington had already reaped a success in resolution of Bosniak-Croatian relations, which represented counterbalance to the future Serb entity, which I discussed earlier. Now the maps of borders had to be precisely determined. This question proved to the hardest one in Bosnian war. But after the fall of Srebrenica and Žepa to the hands of Serbs, actually, the exit from this situation was found because it was implied that Serbs will never accept Eastern-Bosnian Muslims enclaves in its rounded ethnically cleansed body. But, after the fall of Srebrenica, political preconditions were created for negotiations about peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina because military situation became completely clear.

Contact group determined that the future Bosnia and Herzegovina will be divided 51 percent on the Federation and 49 for the Republika srpska.

n those months American administration definitively taken over the leading role in requesting peaceful agreement on the bases determined by the Contact group made by the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France and Russia. The American diplomat Richard Holbrooke was appointed as a main negotiator, who convened in Geneva a gathering of the ministers of foreign affairs of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who accepted the basics of the peace agreement. The road to Dayton was opened.

American negotiation team had on its mind a fast achievement of peace agreement. Bosnian problem had to be dealt with due to presidential elections and had to be positively resolved. Holbrook was in a great hurry, so he set up the existence of the Republika srpska in Dayton as a done deal, so negotiations could have been lead only in this relation: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – the Republika srpska. Apart from that, this agreement was being prepared for two months mostly in relation Belgrade – Zagreb, so Holbrooke was coming to Sarajevo with already agreed attitudes.
On the other hand, Milošević in Dayton kept Bosnian Serbs aside and as he didn’t accept their main requests they refused to sign the document. But, nobody asked them anything. The main man of war and peace in the territory of former Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milošević, decided that this time peace is to be made. And when a dictator decides something - then it has to be that way. It turned that the outcome of war and peace did not depend on evaluation of Radovan Karadžić and his loyal Bosnian-Serb marionettes, but from the leader of Serbia – Slobodan Milošević. After those dramatic negotiations, Alija Izetbegović said:

''I will tell to my people that this might not be just peace, but it is more just than continuation of war. In the situation as it is, and in the world as it is, it was not possible to achieve a better peace… Why did we accept this compromise? The answer is simple: to end the war. It has been too much of disasters and suffering of people… In case of continuation of war chances are uncertain, because the World clearly tells us that we have its support for peace, but not for war.”

FOOTNOTE:
1] The original Carrington–Cutileiro peace plan, named for its authors Lord Carrington and Portuguese ambassador José Cutileiro, resulted from the EC Peace Conference held in February 1992 in an attempt to prevent Bosnia-Herzegovina sliding into war. It was also referred to as the Lisbon Agreement (Lisabonski sporazum). It proposed ethnic power-sharing on all administrative levels and the devolution of central government to local ethnic communities. However, all Bosnia-Herzegovina's districts would be classified as Bosniak, Serb or Croat under the plan, even where no ethnic majority was evident.
On 11 March 1992, the Assembly of the Serb People of Republika Srpska (the self-proclaimed parliament of the Bosnian Serbs) unanimously rejected the original peace plan,putting forth their own map which claimed almost two thirds of Bosnia's territory, with a series of ethnically split cities and isolated enclaves and leaving the Croats and Bosniaks with a disjointed strip of land in the centre of the republic. That plan was rejected by Cutileiro. However, he put forth a revised draft of the original which stated that the three constituent units would be "based on national principles and taking into account economic, geographic, and other criteria."
On 18 March 1992, all three sides signed the agreement; Alija Izetbegović for the Bosniaks, Radovan Karadžić for the Bosnian Serbs and Mate Boban for the Bosnian Croats. On 28 March 1992, after a meeting with US ambassador to Yugoslavia Warren Zimmermann in Sarajevo, Izetbegović withdrew his signature and declared his opposition to any division of Bosnia.

2] In May 1993, after a year of severe economic hardship caused by UN-imposed sanctions, Milošević accepted an international agreement for the division of Bosnia into 10 ethnic cantons. On 20 August, the U.N. mediators Thorvald Stoltenberg and David Owen unveiled a map that would partition Bosnia into a union of three ethnic republics, in which Bosnian Serb forces would be given 53 percent of Bosnia-Herzegovina's territory, Muslims would be allotted 30 percent and Bosnian-Herzegovina Croats would receive 17 percent. On 28 August, in accordance with the Owen–Stoltenberg peace proposal, the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia was proclaimed in Grude as a "republic of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina".On 29 August 1993 the Bosniak side rejected the plan.
The Vance-Owen plan (named after its principal negotiators, former U.S. secretary of state Cyrus Vance and former British foreign minister David Owen) was rejected by the self-styled parliament of the Bosnian Serbs.

VRH


  Dossier: THE ROLE OF ALIJA IZETBEGOVIĆ IN THE INDEPENDENCE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
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» WHO WAS ALIJA IZETBEGOVIĆ? (7)
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» PEACE IN DAYTON (6)
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» TUĐMAN DID NOT HIDE THAT HE WANTED TO SHARE BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (5)
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» SPIRIT OF CHANGE ENCOMPASSES YUGOSLAVIA (2)
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» THE ROLE OF ALIJA IZETBEGOVIĆ IN THE INDEPENDENCE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (1)
Akademik prof. dr. Adamir Jerković | 13.07.2023 03:35

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