The June Cease Fire

On June 15, 1993, the day before peace talks resumed in Geneva, yet another general cease-fire agreement was signed, this time by all three parties to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Maj. Gen. Milivoj Petkovic for the HVO, Brig. Gen. Ratko Mladic for the BSA, and Gen. Rasim Delic for the ABiH.53 The agreement was to go into effect at noon on June 18, at which time all combat activities were to cease and all military activities, to include troop movements and improvement of fortifications, were to be frozen.

Even before the cease-fire was signed, pessimistic British UNPROFOR authorities opined that "the BiH appear to have no intention of surrendering their present advantage, by observing the cease-fire."54 On June 16, Colonel Blaskic, the OZCB commander, issued detailed implementing instructions for the cease-fire in which he instructed his subordinates to issue their own signed orders for the cease-fire.55 At the same time, Blaskic reminded his subordinates of their obligation to ensure cooperation with UNPROFOR and humanitarian organizations, allow free passage of humanitarian aid, honor the Geneva conventions, and protect human rights. Over the next several months, Blaskic issued no fewer than nine additional orders dealing with such matters as the treatment of civilians and the protection of civilian property, the passage of aid convoys, and the treatment of prisoners of war.56 That Blaskic's orders reached the lower levels of the OZCB is attested to by the series of implementing orders issued between June 21 and September 16 by Zarko Saric, commander of the 2d Battalion, Viteska Brigade.57 Of course, issuing orders and guaranteeing compliance with them are two different things, and the June cease-fire was observed more often with breaches by both sides.

In view of the resumption of heavy fighting between ABiH and Croat forces in the central Bosnia region and the obstinacy of the ABiH III Corps commander, Enver Hadzihasanovic, the JOC, meeting formally for the fourth time at the headquarters of the British UNPROFOR battalion at 10 a.m. on

June 28, decided that it was no longer appropriate for the body to sit. The representatives from both sides agreed to notify their commanders they were unable to make any progress and to request that new orders be issued for renewal of the cease-fire, especially in the Zepce-Maglaj area.58 Both sides agreed to continue to send representatives at regular intervals to meet at the headquarters of the British UNPROFOR battalion, to keep the telephone lines open between Vitez and Zenica, and to continue the operations of the Joint Humanitarian Commission for the release of prisoners.

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