bosnia report
New Series No. 1 November - December 1997
 
Plans for a 'Greater Croatia' (document)

On 13 October 1997, Feral Tribune published a revealing document drafted by the Bosnian HDZ in 1991 and signed by its leading members Mate Boban, Vladimir Soljic, Bozo Raic, Ivan Bender, Pero Markovic, Dario Kordic and others. Some of these people are now dead, some find themselves at The Hague, while others still hold important positions in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. As is clear from the document itself, its origins lie in discussions which its signatories held with Croatian president Franjo Tudjman on 13 and 14 June 1991 (in other words, before Serbia's open attack on Croatia and even before the JNA's attack on Slovenia). The date on the document situates its composition immediately after Tudjman's acceptance of the Vance Plan, which created the United Nations Protected Area in Croatia þ subsequently known as Republika Srpska Krajina.

Declaration

'On 12 November 1991 a working meeting of the presidents of the Crisis Staff of the Herzegovina and Travnik Regional Communities was held in Grude. The meeting was chaired by Mr Mate Boban, deputy leader of the Bosnia-Herzegovina HDZ, together with Mr Dario Kordic, coordinator of the Travnik Regional Community. Following several hours of discussion and analyses of the political and security situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and former Yugoslavia, the following conclusions were reached.

Conclusions

1. The Herzegovina and Travnik Regional Communities remain faithful to their decisions reached at earlier separate meetings, to the effect that the Croat people of these regions continues to uphold the unanimous position and conclusions adopted during the meetings with President Dr Franjo Tudjman held on 13 and 14 June in Zagreb. On the basis of the decisions and the agreement reached at the above-mentioned meetings in Zagreb, the separate decisions reached on 15 October 1991 in Grude and on 22 October in Busovaca, as well as at this meeting of 12 November, the two regional communities are unanimously resolved that the Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina must finally undertake a decisive and active policy that should bring about the realisation of our centuries-old dream: a common Croatian state. In order for this historical aim soon to become our reality, the two regional communities demand the immediate formulation and publication of legal and political acts (the proclamation of Banovina Croatia in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the holding of a referendum for adhesion to the Republic of Croatia, etc) as a first step on the road leading to a final solution of the question and to the creation of a sovereign Croatia in its ethnic and historical (currently possible) borders.

2. There still exist, in part of the HDZ leadership in Bosnia-Herzegovina, forces that arÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÔ e against these historic interests of the Croat people in Bosnia- Herzegovina. These forces favour a non-existent sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which the Croat people would be condemned to genocide and historical disappearance. For this reason these two communities demand decisive moves, which our people expect and which the HDZ supports one hundred percent. The representatives of these municipalities believe that any further waiting would weaken our position both among our own people and in the international community. We must point out to Europe and the world as a whole what our Croat territories within BosniaüHerzegovina are and where our future lies. The people will under no conditions accept any solution other than within the borders of a free Croatia.

3. For these conclusions to be realised, we must:
a) clearly articulate HDZ policy in Bosnia-Herzegovina, strengthen it at the cadre level and choose the people who can carry out these tasks;

b) begin political and legal action at the domestic and international levels;

c) prepare ourselves better militarily for conflict with all those forces that will try to stop this inevitable process in the formation of a free Croatian state;

d) decisively prevent in advance any public or clandestine activity within the leadership of the Bosnia-Herzegovina HDZ which would run contrary to these deci- sions or which could injure it in some other way.'

There followed the signatures of the 22 participants who unanimously adopted this document, including those of Mate Boban, Dario Kordic, Jozo Maric, Vladimir Soljic, Bozo Raic, Mijo Tokic, Zeljko Raguz, Ivan Bender, Jadran Topic and Pero Markovic. The 'Croatian Democratic Community of Herzeg-Bosna' was proclaimed six days later, on 18 November1991, which was also the day of the fall of the Croat- ian city of Vukovar. Stjepan Kljuic, then president of the Bosnia-Herzegovina HDZ and a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was forced to resign a couple of months later.

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