After so long span of time it’s very difficult to find someone who still remembers Fikret ‘Babo’ Avdic, political leader of Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia (1993-1995) and the Republic of Western Bosnia (1995);
Map: Autonomous province and later Republic of Western Bosnia
Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia was proclaimed in 1993 by local Muslims in Velika Kladisa and Western Bosnia and Herzegovina, who opposed the Sarajevo government. . The autonomous province cooperated with Republika Srpska, Republika Srpska Krajina, Serbia during the war in Bosnia. Territory of Western Bosnia was occupied by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994 and all the inhabitants fled the to Republika Srpska Krajina (after the worst ethnic cleansing in history in August 1995. – so called operation Storm – occupied by Croatia) However, later that year, with help of Serbs, Sarajevo troops were expelled from the Western Bosnia, which was then restored.
Same year Croatia and Bosnian Muslim army defeated the Republic of Western Bosnia, occupied and annexed her territory (now the Una-Sana Canton in the Muslim – Croatian Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina). The Croats arrested Abdic, and he was subject to a cangaroo political trial in Croatia; he was was sentenced to 20 years in prison for alleged war crime (!!!) (but the sentence was later reduced to 15 years).
Fikret ‘Babo’ Abdic
The following article appeared in Associated Press on Tuesday, August 22, 1995:
Bosnian Muslims Stand Divided
VOJNIC, Croatia (AP) — Amid the confusion of Serbs fleeing Croats and Croats and Muslims fleeing Serbs, Safet Kantarevic is part of a little-told story in the Balkan wars: Muslims running in fear from Muslims.
The 26-year-old Kantarevic, along with his wife, child, parents and four brothers, left their home in Velika Kladusa as troops of the Bosnian Muslim army retook the northwestern Bosnian city.
They joined more than 20,000 Muslims, followers of warlord Fikret Abdic, whose rebellion against the Sarajevo government came to abrupt end earlier this month.
They had wanted to go northward, to Zagreb, and then on to Western Europe. But Croatia had closed the road — claiming it’s already overburdened with 190,000 Bosnian refugees — and has signed an agreement with the Bosnian government on their repatriation.
„I would rather die then go back to government-controlled Bosnia,“ Kantarevic said while helping his brothers put up a hut in a muddy field outside Vojnic, 30 miles south of Zagreb. „Of course I’m afraid to go back. We’ve been fighting the (government’s) 5th Corps, and if I get back, they’ll kill me.“
A shared language and the vague ties of being called Muslim by the rest of the world seem the only common links between Abdic’s followers and Sarajevo government.
„I’m Muslim and I’m not ashamed of it. But I don’t want to fight Serbs. I don’t want to go to war. I don’t want my children to learn Koran and Arabic,“ Kantarevic said, criticizing the Bosnian government for trying to strengthen Muslim identity.
When the Bosnian war erupted in April 1992, Abdic made deals with all sides — Serbs and Croats, Muslims and the United Nations — to keep the northwest region known as the „Bihac pocket“ free of conflict and relatively well-supplied. The traditionally good relations between Muslims and Serbs in the predominantly Muslim area served his cause.
His near-messianic hold on his followers relies partly on his brand of trickle-down economics, with many locals owing any wealth and status directly to the charismatic boss and leader.
To Kantarevic and his brethren, Abdic is simply „Babo,“ or father, a paternal protector from the worst ravages of war, a provider of jobs and relative prosperity in peacetime.
„I trust Babo, he’s my government,“ Kantarevic said.
As for governments in Sarajevo and Zagreb Abdic is a traitor, a maverick commander and politician, a corrupt one-time factory manager who always ran the Bihac pocket like a fiefdom.
And all what happens in the middle East is just continuation of the same policy. But if you have been told the truth about the war in Bosnia, they won’t be able to apply the same method of destruction elsewhere. As soon as the World opens their eyes and rationally recognize the truth (which is very difficult after numerous layers of bias, lies and false wictimhood covered it) , there will be hope that this violence would stop.