Exactly 25 years ago, the UN Security Council rejected the proposals for BiH to be divided into 10 ethnic provinces or three ethnic zones as a war solution, as proposed by Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen. Instead of that, they made a decision to send additional 7.600 peacekeepers in six BH cities.
Owen informed the UN Security Council back in 1993 that their plan to make 10 ethnic-based provinces with strict national governments failed. Instead of that, he advised Bosnian Muslims to accept the proposal of Bosnian Serbs and Croats on division of BiH into three separate ethnic zones.
He also stated that the then President of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, proposed for Muslims to have two parts of the territory, one around Sarajevo, Zenica and Tuzla, and the other in the north-west part of the country, around Bihac. The Vance-Owen plan was for the UN forces to secure the road that will connect these territories and it was supposed to be surrounded by demilitarized zones. Furthermore, it was planned for Muslims to have a free exit to Ploce and they would conduct import and export through Sava River.
When it comes to Bosnian Serbs and Croats, it was planned for them to have their own “states” with joint borders with Serbia and Croatia.
Even though some countries supported these proposals at first, they voted differently at the session. The UN Security Council unanimously accepted the resolution of former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to send additional UN peacekeepers to Sarajevo, Bihac, Gorazde, Srebrenica, Tuzla and Zepa. There were 9,000 peacekeepers in BiH. The US provided air protection for them and they were armed and had permission to prevent attacks of Serbs. It was also noted that, in case that the truce is not respected in the aforementioned six cities, it would require additional 34,000 peacekeepers.
After the presentation of all the proposals, the Vance-Owen plan was declared “dead”.