Sovići and Doljani massacres

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Sovići and Doljani massacres
LocationDoljani and Sovići, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Date17 April 1993
PerpetratorsCroatian Defence Council (HVO), Croatian Army (HV)

The Sovići and Doljani massacres were war crimes committed against Bosniaks by Croatian Defence Forces (HVO) on 17 April 1993, and afterwards in the villages of Doljani and Sovići.

According to the ICTY, Croat/HVO forces attacked the villages of Doljani and Sovići, about 50 kilometers north of Mostar in the morning on 17 April 1993. The attack was part of a larger Croatian Defence Forces offensive aimed at taking Jablanica, the main Bosnian Muslim dominated town in the area. The HVO commanders had calculated that they needed two days to take Jablanica. Sovići's geopolitical location was of strategic significance for the HVO as it was en route to Jablanica. For the Bosnian Army, it was a gateway to the plateau of Risovac, which could create conditions for further progression towards the Adriatic coast.[1]

The larger HVO offensive on Jablanica had already started on 15 April 1993. The artillery destroyed the upper part of Sovići. The Bosnian Army fought back, but at about 5 p.m., the Bosnian Army commander in Sovići surrendered, along with approximately 70 to 75 soldiers. At least 400 Bosnian Muslim civilians were detained and the HVO advance towards Jablanica was halted after a cease-fire agreement was negotiated.[1]

A number of captured Bosniaks were tortured and killed by Kažnjenička Bojna, a unit known by its cruelty to Bosniaks. It was commanded by Mladen Naletilić Tuta. Those who were not killed were transported to the Heliodrom concentration camp or other camps such as the one in Ljubuški.[2]

After the conflict stopped all Bosnian-Muslim houses were burned and two mosques torn down in accordance with the orders that the Croatian forces received from their commanders. General Milivoj Petković attributed responsibility for Sovići and Doljani to Mate Boban.[2]


  1. ^ a b "ICTY: Naletilić and Matinović verdicts" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b Sense Tribunal: ICTY - FORGERIES FROM CROATIAN ARCHIVE?,; accessed 3 August 2015.(in Croatian)

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