The August Assessments

In August, 1993, both sides took time to reassess their position. Colonel Ti-homir Blaskic, the OZCB commander, conducted a review of the personnel and equipment status in his command and forwarded his report to Mostar on August 11.36 No report was available on the Bobovac (Vares), Kotro-manic (Kakanj), 110th (Usora), 111xp (Zepce), or Josip Ban Jelacic (Kiseljak) Brigades due to poor communications. The status of other OZCB brigades and units was as shown in Table 10-1.

By mid-October, the HVO personnel situation in central Bosnia was becoming critical, and Colonel Blaskic took note of the rising number of desertions by issuing an order calling for severe disciplinary measures to be taken against any HVO soldier abandoning his post on the defensive lines.37 Leaders of the ABiH met in Zenica on August 21-22 to review the state of their forces and to plan for the continuation of the campaign against the HVO in central Bosnia and northern Herzegovina.38 Among the matters discussed were recent losses of territory to the BSA, the confused state of the RBiH's political leadership and the lack of support for the ABiH, the question of military discipline in the ABiH, logistical support and the development of an indigenous Bosnian arms industry, and the conflict with the HVO.

The newly formed ABiH VI Corps headquartered at Konjic was a problem from the beginning. Thus, on August 29, a team from ABiH GHQ headed by the chief of staff, Gen. Sefer Halilovic, began an investigation and assumed responsibility for coordinating the efforts of the III, IV, and VI Corps. The group's report, issued on September 20, noted deficiencies in the VI Corps, notably its failure to accomplish the previously assigned tasks of "liberating" the line of communications between Dusina (the hamlet in the Kiseljak municipality) and Fojnica and the "liberation" of Kresevo as well as the Konjic line of communications and the village of Celebici, making the planned operations in the Vrbas and Neretva Valleys more difficult. Problems in the VI Corps cited by the team included the inadequacies in staff training, the high number of desertions, the defection to the HVO of a security officer, and the murders of the commander of the 47th Mountain Brigade and other officers. The involvement of the corps headquarters in the growing of marijuana in the Blagaj area and its smuggling into Sarajevo and central Bosnia was also noted. The team report also remarked upon the unsatisfactory standards in the 317th Mountain Brigade from Bugojno and the poor performance of the independent Prozor battalion, which caused the loss of the Muslim positions "liberated" in the Crni Vrh.39 As a result of the Halilovic team's report, large-scale changes in the leadership of the ABiH III, IV, and VI Corps were recommended, and many changes were

Table 10-1. Status of Units in HVO Operative Zone Central Bosnia as of August 11, 1993

Unit

Strength

% Fill

Weapons

OZCB Headquarters

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