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The Croat–Bosniak War was a conflict between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the self-proclaimed secessionist Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, supported by the Republic of Croatia, that lasted from 19 June 1992 – 23 February 1994. The Croat-Bosniak War is often referred to as a "war within a war" because it was part of the larger Bosnian War.




  • 12 November 1991: Croatian political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mate Boban and Dario Kordić signed a document about a common Croatian state: "the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina must finally embrace a determined and active policy which will realise our eternal dream – a common Croatian state".[2]
  • 18 November 1991: The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party branch in Bosnia and Herzegovina, proclaimed the existence of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, as a separate "political, cultural, economic and territorial whole," on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[3]



  • April 1992: Anto Valenta, a Croat leader in the Vitez municipality in the Lašva Valley, told the municipality's Bosniak representatives that they should take their orders from the self-proclaimed Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia.[4]
  • 8 April 1992: The Croatian Defence Council (Hrvatsko vijeće obrane, HVO) was established in Grude by the political leadership of Croats, mainly members of Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica) as a military formation of Herzeg-Bosnia.
  • 10 April 1992: Mate Boban decreed that the Bosnian Territorial Defence (TO),[5] which had been created the day before, was illegal on self-proclaimed Croat territory.[2]
  • 21 April 1992: Croatian Crisis Staff took over the powers of the Kiseljak Municipal Assembly, although under the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, only the Municipal Assembly is entitled to exercise those powers, which lead to many discriminatory measures against the Bosnian Muslim authorities and population in Kiseljak.[6]


  • 6 May 1992: The Graz agreement between Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić and Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban was signed. It was meant to limit conflict between Serb and Croat forces by allowing both parties to concentrate on attacks against Bosnian Muslims.[7][8][9]
  • 10 May 1992: Croats issued an ultimatum to all Bosnian military units in Busovača calling on them to surrender their weapons and to place themselves under Croat command.[11]
  • 11 May 1992: Tihomir Blaškić declared the Bosnian Territorial Defence (TO) illegal on the territory of the Kiseljak municipality.[2]
  • 22 May 1992: Bosnian state organs in the Busovača municipality were abolished. Bosniaks were forced to sign an act of allegiance to the Croat authorities, fell victim to numerous attacks on shops and businesses and, gradually, left the area out of fear that they would be the victims of mass crimes.[11]


  • June 1992: Croat military formations took over the headquarters in Vitez and the Municipal Assembly building and raised the flags of Herzeg-Bosnia and of Croatia.[4]
  • 15 June 1992: Croatian Crisis Staff imposed the Croatian dinar "on the territory of the Kiseljak municipality as the currency of account" and ordered that "all commercial service companies [were] obliged to display the prices of products and services in Croatian dinars".[6]
  • 18 June 1992: Bosnian Territorial Defence (TO) in Novi Travnik received an ultimatum from Croatian Defence Council (HVO) which included demands to abolish existing Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions, establish the authority of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia and pledge allegiance to it, subordinate the Territorial Defense to the HVO and expel Muslim refugees, all within 24 hours.[12]
  • 19 June 1992: Croats attacked and damaged the headquarters of the Bosnian Territorial Defence, elementary school and the Post Office.[12]
  • June 1992: Bosniaks in the lower part of Novi Travnik were given ultimatums by Croat soldiers to leave within 24 hours. Bosniaks were subjected to killings, rape and other mistreatment.[13]
  • 15–20 June 1992: Military troops from Croatia, called Garavi and Frankopani started to arrive in Gornji Vakuf, a town of strategic importance at a crossroads en route to Central Bosnia. Garavi unit numbered between 60 and 65 members.[14]
  • 20 June 1992: Croat forces opened fire from the lower part of Gornji Vakuf on the part of the town inhabited by Bosnian Muslims. In the meantime, the Garavi unit set up a check-point and started arresting people.[15]


  • 1 July 1992: The Croatian Defence Council (HVO) took over all civilian and military power in Vareš and prohibited all Territorial Defence (TO) activities.[16]


  • August 1992: The HVO launched attacks on the villages of Duhri, Potkraj, Radanovići and Topole in the municipality of Kiseljak, which involved more violent incidents, including setting fire to homes where Bosnian Muslims lived and vandalising their businesses.[17]
  • 9 August 1992: Blaž Kraljević was killed by HVO soldiers, which severely weakened the moderate group of Croats who hoped to keep the alliance with Bosniaks alive.[18]
  • 18 August 1992: Colonel Tihomir Blaškić, who was in charge of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone (CBOZ) of the HVO, ordered that swearing-in ceremonies for the HVO forces should take place.[19]
  • August 1992: In Travnik, Dario Kordić and Ignac Koštroman addressed Croat troops with the message that those who do not wish to live in the Croatian provinces of Herzeg-Bosnia are all enemies and must be fought with both political and military means.[19]
  • August 1992: In Vitez, the gist of Kordić’s speech was a statement to the Muslims of the Lašva Valley that this was Croat land and that they had to accept it.[19]


  • 5 September 1992: Presidency of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in Travnik stated that the Croats in the municipality refused unitary State of Bosnia and Herzegovina and accepted only the HVO government.[19]
  • 18 September 1992: Decrees relating to the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia (including that to establish it on 18 November 1991) were annulled by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court.[20]
  • 30 September 1992: Croat leadership in Kakanj municipality met with Dario Kordić, as Vice-President of Herzeg-Bosnia, who stated that they would not take Kakanj by force but it would be given to them because Muslims were losing morale and they wouldn't be strong enough to confront realisation of the Croatian political platform.[21]


  • October 1992: According to the ICTY Indictment against the Bosnian war Croat leadership, the authorities of Herzeg-Bosnia ordered the HVO Military Police to tighten its control over Mostar, the largest town in south-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina and the historical capital of Herzegovina. Croat forces occupied government and public buildings, disarmed Bosniak soldiers, took over the refugee centers and raided the local headquarters of the leading Bosniak political party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA). The Herzeg-Bosnia authorities took the pro-Bosnian radio station off the air and imposed a curfew.[22]
  • 19 October 1992: The Croatian flag was raised on the police station in Prozor, located in the northern part of Herzegovina.[3]
  • 19–26 October 1992: The conflict between Croatian Defence Council (HVO) and Bosnian Army (ARBiH) broke out again in Novi Travnik when the HVO attacked a Bosnian Army unit in the fire brigade building. It is assumed that the cause of the conflict was a demand by the HVO to be allowed to take over the Bratstvo ammunition factory which the Bosnian Army refused.[23]
  • 19 October 1992: During the early part of the conflict in Novi Travnik, the local TO, on orders from their superiors, put up a barricade in Ahmići in the Vitez municipality on the main road through the Lašva Valley in order to prevent HVO reinforcements reaching Novi Travnik.[24]
  • 20 October 1992: Early in the morning the HVO attacked the Ahmići barricade. The houses were set on fire, the minaret of the mosque was hit and a 16-year-old boy was killed. The attack lasted all morning until the people manning the barricade ran out of ammunition and the checkpoint was then removed.[24]
  • 20 October 1992: The HVO took over Vitez police station and expelled the Bosnian Muslim police officers.[25]
  • 22 October 1992: A general cease-fire for the Vitez municipality was signed.[24]
  • 23 October 1992: Croat forces attacked Bosnian Muslims in Prozor town and started ethnic cleansing which included different form of violence.[26][27]
  • 24 October 1992: Croat forces attacked Paljike, a predominantly Bosniak village approximately one kilometer south of Prozor town, deliberately destroyed houses and property, killed some of the villagers, and the next day transferred the others to the Ripci primary school where Bosnian Muslims from Prozor were detained.[3]
  • 24 October 1992: On the evening, an area HVO commander reported that Prozor town was "ethnically pure" and "the Muslim population having been detained or having fled".[3]
  • 24–25 October 1992: Shortly after Croat forces attacked Bosnian Muslims in neighbouring Prozor municipality, the HVO and Bosnian Army engaged in fighting in Gornji Vakuf town, and the HVO seized control of several factories and the Ministry of Interior building.[3]


  • 4 November 1992: Jajce, a town north-east of Travnik, which had been under siege by the Serb forces and which was defended by a combined Bosniak and Croat force, had fallen, releasing a flood of refugees into the area of Travnik and Zenica.[25]


  • December 1992: The Croat forces had taken control of the municipalities of the Lašva Valley and had only met significant opposition in Novi Travnik and Ahmići. Much of Central Bosnia therefore was in the hands of the Croat forces.[25]



  • 14. April 1993: HVO troops with direct military support and help of Croatian Army went on all out offensive against the Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) in Herzegovina and central Bosnia. Before that the Bosniak members of HVO and the smaller more isolated units of Bosnian Army (Armija Republike Bosne i Hercegovine) were disarmed. HVO attacks and occupies Prozor. The fiercest fights take place in Gornji Vakuf, Fojnica and Mostar (west side of Mostar which was occupied by HVO which was declared Croatian city and a capital of the so-called Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia).
  • 16. April 1993: In village Ahmići, central Bosnia, HVO troops have rounded up and killed 120 Bosniak civilians.


  • 09. May 1993: HVO conducts strong attacks on to east side of Mostar (part of the city under the control of Bosnian Army). Bosnian Army troops found themselves surrounded on a territory of only few square kilometers. Heavy infantry fights are taking place on the west side of Mostar in Šantića Street which is the front line between HVO and Bosnian Army. HVO starts to set up concentration camps for Bosniaks mainly civilians. These HVO concentration camps included Heliodrom in Mostaru, Dretelj, Gabelu and many others.


  • 12. June 1993: HVO Kiseljak and the Serb forces from Ilidža in village Grahovica (between Kiseljak and Ilidža) kill 37 Bosniak civilians.


  • 01. July 1993: 111. brigade of HVO from Žepče attacks Bosnian Army troops in Novi Šeher.
  • 08. July 1993: Meeting between Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić took place. Radovan Karadžić ordered general Ratko Mladić, 'Help the Croats in order to force the Muslims to accept the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina'. Mladić left Belgrade the same day and went to Njivice, where he met with Petković. The two made deals on the military cooperation between the VRS and the HVO, sale of weapons and equipment and 'renting' artillery pieces which then fired on the BH Army positions north of Mostar.


  • 01. November 1993: Old Bridge in Mostar was destroyed by the HVO Croatian Defence Council. After the war Arif Pašalić who was the commander of the 4th Corps of Bosnian Army said “With the destruction of Old Bridge Croats have pissed all over their thousand year old tradition and culture”.



23. February 1994: The Croat-Bosniak war officially ended when the Commander of HVO, general Ante Roso and commander of Bosnian Army, general Rasim Delić, signed a ceasefire agreement in Zagreb. In March 1994 a peace agreement mediated by the USA between the warring Croats (represented by Republic of Croatia) and Bosnia and Herzegovina was signed in Washington and Vienna which is known as the Washington Agreement. Under the agreement, the combined territory held by the Croat and Bosnian government forces was divided into ten autonomous cantons, establishing the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


  1. "ICTY: Naletilić and Martinović verdict - A. Historical background". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "ICTY Blaškić verdict - III. FACTS AND DISCUSSION - A. The Lasva Valley: May 1992 – January 1993 - Page 123".  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ICTY: Blaškić verdict - A. The Lasva Valley: May 1992 – January 1993" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "ICTY: Prlić et al. (IT-04-74)".  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ICTY: Prlić et al. (IT-04-74)" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 "ICTY: Blaškić verdict - A. The Lasva Valley: May 1992 – January 1993 - a) The municipality of Vitez". 
  5. Later to become the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "ICTY: Blaškić verdict - A. The Lasva Valley: May 1992 – January 1993 c) The municipality of Kiseljak". 
  7. "IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.". pub. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-25. "Q. And in reference to the Graz Agreement of May 1992, what was your understanding, and the understanding of the international community, so 16664 far as you knew, of where this agreement left the Muslim people in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
    A. Well, it -- it left them really nowhere.
    Q. And can you tell the Judges in scanning through this agreement is there anyplace on the face of this document where any discussion is made about a Muslim territory or what part that Muslims would be left with?
    A. No. There's no mention of the Muslim community."
  8. Blaine Harden (Issue 26 : Friday, May 8, 1992). "Warring Factions Agree on Plan to Divide up Former Yugoslavia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  9. Pg 24 - Lee Bryant (Autumn 1993). "The Betrayal of Bosnia" (PDF). Centre for the Study of Democracy: University of Westminster. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
    Miloš Vasi_, "Two against one in Bosnia", WarReport (January 1993),p. 8-9.
  10. Lukic, Reneo; Lynch, Allen (1996). Europe From the Balkans to the Urals: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Oxford University Press. p. 215. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "ICTY: Blaškić verdict - A. The Lasva Valley: May 1992 – January 1993 - b) The municipality of Busovača". 
  12. 12.0 12.1 ICTY - Kordic and Cerkez judgment - II. PERSECUTION: THE HVO TAKE-OVERS B. Novi Travnik - [1]
  13. "ICTY: Kordić and Čerkez verdict - II. Persecution: D. Persecution in the Municipalities". 
  14. "IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.". pub. 31 October 2006. "Between the 15th and the 20th, a unit arrived from Croatia in the region of Gornji Vakuf. The unit was known as Garavi. It numbered between 60 and 65 members, and on the 19th or the 18th of June, 1992, the Frankopani unit was deployed in Gornji Vakuf, and the commander, with members of his command, were put up in the hotel where the unit was put up, in the secondary school centre and in the department store." 
  15. "IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.". pub. 31 October 2006. "On the 20th of June, 1992, in the afternoon, between 1440 and 1500 hours, the HVO from the lower part of the town opened fire on the part of the town inhabited by majority Muslim population. In the meantime, the unit Garavi in location Karamustafic set up a check-point and started arresting and taking people to a meadow that had a wire fence around it, and that is where people were stopped, searched, identified, and held." 
  16. ICTY - Kordic and Cerkez judgment - II. PERSECUTION: THE HVO TAKE-OVERS C. The HVO Take-Over in Other Municipalities - [2]
  17. ICTY - Blaskic Judgement - A. The Lasva Valley: May 1992 – January 1993 - c) The municipality of Kiseljak [3]
  18. Sarajevo, i poslije, Erich Rathfelder, München 1998
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 ICTY: Kordic and Cerkez Judgement - III. EVENTS LEADING TO THE CONFLICT - A. July – September 1992 - 1. The Role of Dario Kordic - [4]
  20. ICTY - Kordic and Cerkez Judgement - 2. Ruling of the BiH Constitutional Court [5]
  21. "ICTY: Kordic and Cerkez Judgement - III. EVENTS LEADING TO THE CONFLICT - A. July – September 1992 - 1. The Role of Dario Kordic". "On 30 September 1992 Kordic, as Vice-President of HZ H-B, was present at a meeting of the Presidency of the Kakanj HVO, a neighbouring municipality to Vares. The minutes of the meeting record Kordic as saying that the HVO was the government of the HZ H-B and what they were doing with the HZ H-B was the realisation of a complete political platform: they would not take Kakanj by force but “it is a question of time whether we will take or give up what is ours. It has been written down that Vares and Kakanj are in HZ H-B. The Muslims are losing morale and then it will end with ‘give us what you will’”." 
  22. ICTY - Second Amended Indictment against Prlic et al - 11 June 2008
  23. ICTY - Kordic and Cerkez Judgement - 1. Conflict in Novi Travnik
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 ICTY - Kordic and Cerkez Judgement - 2. Ahmici Barricade
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 ICTY - Kordic and Cerkez Judgement - 3. After the Conflict
  26. "SENSE Tribunal: ICTY - EVICT, BURN AND EXPEL". "The Prozor main street was "a mess", there were signs of shelling everywhere, almost every fifth house had been burned down, and the soldiers were busy looting the shops. In those events in Prozor, Vuillamy recognized the "pattern of ethnic cleansing" he had seen as a war correspondent in the operations the Serb forces had launched in eastern Croatia and north-western Bosnia. He summed up the pattern as follows for the judges: "Evict them, burn them and expel them!"" 

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