bosnia report
New Series No: 21/22 January - May 2001
 
ABC of Croatian crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina
by Ivica Djikic

A is for Ahmici. A Bosnian village near Vitez in which, on 16 April 1993 at dawn, HVO soldiers murdered one hundred and sixteen civilians, including a nine-month-old baby.

B is for Boban. Mate Boban, executor of the Pantovcak [Croatian presidential seat] notion of a Croat para-statelet in Bosnia-Herzegovina, first and penultimate president of the 'Croat Republic of Herzeg-Bosna'.

C is for Church. The Catholic Church, which has played an irreplaceable role in encouraging anti-Bosnian forces among the Croat community in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with Franciscans and secular clergy in Herzegovina - albeit themselves in conflict - fully united behind this aim.

C is for Culjak. Dijana Culjak, Croatian TV journalist who used to cover Herzegovina and who possesses the last footage of Mostar Bosniaks being taken away for execution.

C is for Caca [Father]. The Father of all Croats, whose ambition was to Europeanize the Bosnian Muslims, which he tried to accomplish by means of bombardment and concentration camps.

D is for Dretelj. Location near Mostar where Herzegovina authorities headed by Jadranko Prlic established a concentration camp for Bosniaks deported from Stolac, Capljina, Ljubuski, Mostar ...

Dz is for dzamije [mosques]. Muslim religious buildings which in 1993 and 1994, in the area between Mostar and Gornji Vakuf, were known as  'rockets' and mostly sent sky-high by the Croats.

E is for 'Erotel' . Croat para-TV in Herzegovina, heavily subsidized by Zagreb, whose job was constantly to stoke anti-Bosnian sentiments among the Bosnian Croats (Jozo Curic, a journalist currently employed in the foreign-affairs section of Croatian TV, proved especially zealous).

F is for Fikret Abdic. War-crimes suspect rewarded with Croatian citizenship for his special contribution to implementing the Milosevic-Tudjman plan to divide up Bosnia-Herzegovina.

G is for Grude. Place in Herzegovina with a hotel in which the Croatian aspiration to annex part of Bosnian territory by establishing 'Herzeg-Bosna' was formalized.

H is for Helidrom. Concentration camp located on the way out of Mostar in which the 'Herzeg-Bosna' military authorities tried to realize Tudjman's idea of 'Europeanizing the Bosnian Muslims', by subjecting them to beatings and starvation.

I is for Ivica Rajic. Kiseljak-born master of life and death who made his name by massacring Bosnian civilians in Stupni Do and is now hiding from The Hague.

J is for Jokeri [the Jokers]. Notorious HVO unit from Vitez commanded by Pasko Ljubicic, held chiefly responsible for the massacre of one hundred and sixteen Bosnian civilians at Ahmici.

K is for Karadjordjevo. Place where two close comrades-in-arms met in the spring of 1991 and spent many hours chatting about how to divide Bosnia and destroy the Bosniak nation.

L is for Lasva valley. Area in central Bosnia where a bloody and protracted Croat-Bosniak war took place, and which has since delivered a dozen of its sons to the prison at Scheveningen.

Lj is for Ljubuski. Birth place of Vice Vukojevic and Blaz Kraljevic, the former accused of raping a Bosnian woman held prisoner in a camp near Mostar, the latter killed in an ambush because he disagreed with the Tudjman-Susak-Boban vision of Bosnia.

M is for Mostar. City which, thanks to Zagreb' s idea of turning it into the Croat capital in Bosnia, has been divided into eastern and western parts and will go down in history as the place with the greatest density of concentration camps.

N is for night-stand. Piece of furniture on which Franjo Tudjman used to keep books by Ivan Aralica, the Croatian academician who in articles published in Slobodna Dalmacija drew the theoretical blueprint for Dretelj.

O is for Orasje and Odzak. Only two places in Bosnian Posavina left in the Croat-Bosniak Federation, after Tudjman's bartering with the territory of a neighbouring state.

P is for Praljak. Slobodan Praljak, former HVO chief of staff and a man prepared 'to destroy hundreds of old bridges for the sake of one of my soldiers' little fingers'.

R is for Rama. Place that for decades had been called Prozor, but in October 1992 was attacked by HVO soldiers, who drove out its Bosniak population, set their houses on fire, and gave it a new name.

S is for Stari most [Old Bridge]. Destroyed on 9 October 1993 by the 'Convicts' Battalion' of Tuta and Andabak.

S is for Sagolj and Susak. The former a Bosnian Croat journalistic storm-trooper who will always be remembered for the sentence 'There are still Muslims in Makarska'; the latter Croatian minister of defence for life and Tudjman's main operative in Herzegovina matters.

T is for Tuta. Mladen Naletilic-Tuta, presently residing in The Hague, commander of the notorious 'Convicts' Battalion' and for many years ruler of Herzegovina, who always insisted that the Croats' main enemies were not the Serbs but the Bosniaks - and behaved accordingly.

U is for Uskoplje. Gornji Vakuf, in fact: small town in central Bosnia which remains divided to this day into Croat and Bosniak parts, with the difference that the latter was completely destroyed by HV and HVO tanks and mortars.

V is for Velez. Mountain above Mostar, and name of a football club whose stadium was used for a time as a collection point for Bosniaks from Mostar arrested for no good reason.

Z is for zdrug [detachment]. First Croatian Guard Detachment, which following the orders of Franjo Tudjman and Gojko Susak spent more time fighting against Bosniaks in Bosnia than against Serbs in Croatia.

Z is for Zitomislici. Ancient Orthodox monastery on the bank of the Neretva which succumbed to barbaric assaults by Croat forces.

 

This ABC (following the Croat alphabet, but omitting the letters Nj and Dj) has been translated from Feral Tribune (Split), 24 February 2001.

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