Graz agreement

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The Graz agreement was a partition agreement signed between Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić and Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban[note 1] on 6 May 1992 in the city of Graz, Austria.[1] The agreement publicly declared the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina between Republika Srpska and the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia.[1] The largest group in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosniaks, did not take part in the agreement and were not invited to the negotiations.[1][note 2]

Franjo Tuđman, in a letter to United States senator Robert Dole, later presented the agreement as part of a Conference on Bosnia and Herzegovina sponsored by the European Community.[1]

Division[edit]

The Croat administration would receive the territory of Banovina of Croatia that is delineated in the Cvetković–Maček Agreement of 1939.[1] In between the newly expanded Croatia and Serbia would be a small Bosniak buffer state, pejoratively called "Alija's Pashaluk" by Croatian and Serbian leadership, after Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović.[2]

According to the agreement Bosnia and Herzegovina would be divided along the Neretva River with Mostar and everything south of the city to be under Croat control.[1] It was agreed that "in defining the borderline between the two constituent units in the area of Kupres, as well as Bosanska Posavina [...] account should be taken of the compactness of areas and communications."[1] The agreement concluded: "in view of this agreement, no more reasons obtain for an armed conflict between the Croatians and the Serbs in the entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina."[1]

Reception[edit]

According to Vreme’s military analyst Miloš Vasić the Graz agreement was "the single most important document of the war" and was meant to limit conflict between Serb and Croat forces by allowing both parties to concentrate on taking Bosniak territory from the Bosnian forces.[3][4] The agreement was seen as Bosnian Croats betraying their Bosniak allies.[1] It was also seen as a sequel to the Karađorđevo agreement by the ICTY judgement in the Blaškić case.[5] A Washington Post editorial compared the agreement to the Hitler-Stalin pact that divided Poland.[1]

Herbert S. Okun was the deputy of Cyrus Vance, UN special envoy to the Balkans. In this capacity, he attended a number of meetings where the division of Bosnia Herzegovina was discussed. As Okun described it, the aspirations of Croatia and Serbia for the annexation of parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina became evident after Tuđman and Milošević met in Karađorđevo in March 1991 and after the meeting of Mate Boban and Radovan Karadžić in May 1992 in Graz. Neither party kept their plans for the creation of separate states within Bosnia-Herzegovina and their annexation to Serbia and Croatia secret at their subsequent meetings with international diplomats.[6] Herbert Okun testified that on May 6, 1992, Radovan Karadžić and Mate Boban met in Graz in Austria to discuss the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina along the boundaries of the Croatian Banovina.[7] Herbert Okun also testified that during the international conference on the former Yugoslavia, held between September 1992 and May 1993, Franjo Tuđman was the de facto president of the Bosnian Croat delegation, including, among others, Mate Boban and Milivoj Petković.[7] During that conference, Herbert Okun heard Franjo Tuđman make statements about extending the borders of Croatia, either directly or by including Herceg-Bosna within Croatia. He also heard him make statements about his support for the government of Mate Boban.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mate Boban was the only non-Serb leader to recognize Republika Srpska.[1]
  2. ^ At the time Bosniaks accounted for 44 percent of Bosnia and Herzegovina's 4.4 million population and dominated the current government.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lukic, Rénéo; Lynch, Allen (1996). Europe From the Balkans to the Urals: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Oxford University Press. pp. 210–212. ISBN 0-19-829200-7. 
  2. ^ a b Harden, Blaine (8 May 1992). "Warring Factions Agree on Plan to Divide up Former Yugoslavia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  3. ^ Bryant, Lee (1993). "The Betrayal of Bosnia" (PDF). Centre for the Study of Democracy: University of Westminster. p. 24. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  4. ^ Vasić, Miloš (1993). "The pattern of aggression: two against one in Bosnia". Balkan War Report. pp. 8–9. 
  5. ^ "Prosecutor v. Tihomir Blaškić - Judgement". United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 2000-03-03. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  6. ^ THE HAGUE, 02.04.2007. - BH PARTITION PLANS IN FORM OF A STAIN -
  7. ^ a b c "Testimony of Herbert Okun from a transcript of the Prlic, Stojic, Praljak, and Petkovic trial". United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 

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