Sutorina

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Sutorina (pronounced [sûtɔrina]) is a village and a river in southwestern Montenegro. Additionally, Sutorina is a moniker for a small stretch of land disputed between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

The village is located near the border with Croatia, some three kilometers northwest of the Adriatic Sea in Igalo.

The surrounding region, including a short stretch of the Adriatic coast, was named after the little vale of the river Sutorina west of Herceg Novi. Since the breakup of SFR Yugoslavia, the territory is part of Montenegro, but has been occasionally disputed by Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dispute[edit]

Location of Sutorina.

The 5 nmi (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) long coast on the west side of the entrance to the Boka Kotorska, from Cape Kobila to Igalo, known generally as Sutorina, includes the Sutorina valley including 6 towns and villages: Igalo, Sutorina, Sušćepan, Prijevor, Ratiševina and Kruševice, an area of 75 km².[citation needed]

Cape Kobila was the boundary between Sutorina and Prevlaka (Konavle) under the control of the Republic of Ragusa since 1699.[1]

This outlet to the sea was the subject of two international treaties: the 1699 Treaty of Carlowitz assigned the region (as well as Neum) to the Ottoman Empire's Bosnia Eyalet (thereby cordoning off the Republic of Ragusa from the Republic of Venice), an arrangement that was subsequently confirmed by the Congress of Berlin in 1878, when it became part of the Austro-Hungarian occupied Bosnia.[2] After World War I, it became part of the Mostar Oblast of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and subsequently the Trebinje district of the Zeta Banovina within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.[2]

After World War II, in 1947 when the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia authorities were deciding on the internal borders of the constituent republics, Sutorina became part of the constituent People's Republic of Montenegro.[2] Reportedly, this came about as a land swap deal brokered between local communist politicians — Avdo Humo and Đuro Pucar representing the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on one side and Blažo Jovanović representing PR Montenegro on the other — who made the agreement with the permission of Josip Broz Tito and Vladimir Bakarić.[2] PR Bosnia and Herzegovina ceded the territory near Sutorina, Igalo and Njivice and received territory east of Sutjeska river, including the Maglić mountain villages of Kruševo and Vučevo.[2]

Milovan Đilas as the president of "Commission for borders" advocated that Sutorina should belong to the People's Republic of Montenegro. It is assumed that he had Tito's support. In the borders defined at the 2nd AVNOJ meeting in 1943, Sutorina was included within PR Bosnia and Herzegovina.[citation needed]

Since mid 2000s, several politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina such as Željko Komšić and Haris Silajdžić have sporadically called for the "return of Sutorina within Bosnia-Herzegovina's borders".[citation needed] Bosnia and Herzegovina currently only has access to the international waters from the Neum bay across Croatian internal waters.

In 2008, Bishop Grigorije of the Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina formally requested that the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina join the international arbitration regarding the coastline near Igalo.[3]

In 2008, the Serb People's Party (Montenegro) released a statement saying if Montenegro cedes Prevlaka to Croatia, they should also cede Sutorina to Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[4]

In 2009, the mayor of Trebinje Božidar Vučurević claimed Sutorina was part of Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5]

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Coordinates: 42°26′54″N 18°30′14″E / 42.44833°N 18.50389°E / 42.44833; 18.50389