Sutorina – Modern territorial theft and insane geopolitical vortex in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Let’s dive into the crazy geopolitical vortex in the Balkans. Did you know that Bosnia & Herzegovina has one opening to the ocean? It’s in Neum and although something, it’s not in direct contact with open waters since Croatian islands stand in the way. But there is another one called Sutorina. It was within the territory of BiH until 1947, meaning BiH actually entered into communist Yugoslavia with two openings into the ocean and this one, Sutorina, had access to open waters.

Now, let’s zoom froward to post-Yugoslavia and past all those year of ultra-centralized dictatorship. Where one could not complain about issues like these. So after Đuro Pucar and Avdo Humeo gave away 75 km2 in 1947, in a private drunken deal to the republic of Montenegro, people could do no more than to whisper about it. But then again, in Yugoslavia there were no borders like today so citizens could move around anywhere anyway. But the deal wasn’t official and Montenegro has not to this day any legal documentation on the ownership of Sutorina.

Recently the borders between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro were to be confirmed and ratified but objections arose about Sutorina in late 2014. Why shouldn’t Sutorina get back to where it belongs? 78% of the inhabitants (30 000 people) said they would like that when asked in a survey. While Montenegro has not invested anything in the area compared to other places on it’s coast – Bosnia & Herzegovina would really need that open water access. The reason why Montenegro never invested in the area is due to the never confirmed ownership from their side. Even during the aggression on Bosnia & Herzegovina in the 1990’s the aggressors (Serbian chetnik forces) had in mind Sutorina. Since Bosnia & Herzegovina joined Yugoslavia with Sutorina, it should have left with Sutorina. But after what happened in the 1990’s the country was in no position to deal with those geopolitical issues due to more immediate problems. Remember that Montenegro was then still in Yugoslavia and part of the aggression on Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The objections about Sutorina form late 2014 led to a vote in the Bosnian & Herzegovinian parliament on the 13th of May this year. About a proposal to demand a legal dispute in an international court about Sutorina. Then eventually leave it at whatever the international court decides. It was led by Denis Bećirović – and got voted down. Where out of the 42 ministers, 17 voted against, 7 for, 2 didn’t vote at all and 15 weren’t simply weren’t present. The politicians apparently didn’t see any value in gaining back access to territory of open waters where possible ports, tourism or industry could be located. But we smell dirty Balkan politics here, who bought who and the current incapability for Bosnia & Herzegovina to negotiate or claim back something from Montenegro, a state soon to be NATO member.

It’s funny because it all falls in that Bosnia & Herzegovina shouldn’t evoke territorial disputes that could be like a Pandora’s box. But how? Croatia and Slovenia have both coasts yet dispute over every little piece of land they can. Why should Bosnia & Herzegovina leave out what it has historical and legal right to? Apparently the US/EU/NATO get the last word. As in promising a speed up integration into EU for Bosnia & Herzegovina if it get’s it’s “hands clean” as soon as possible. But then again, why not pressure Montenegro legally give back Sutorina in a good gesture? The country was part of the agreession and genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina after all. But the politicians in Bosnia & Herzegovina have proved to be traitors and that we all know is a very hard punished crime.

Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sutorina map.

Bosnia & Herzegovina, through AVNOJ, came into Yugoslavia with Sutorina. Thanks to Mile Peruničić who demanded that Bosnia & Herzegovina should have it’s borders from the 1878 Congress of Berlin. But in 1947 Sutorina and Kruševica were given to Montenegro in a typical and corrupt private deal by two top dogs in the communist party, namely Đuro Pucar and Avdo Humo gave it to Blažo Jovanović. Apparently in a loose exchange for some small forestland. These transfers were never officially approved but the result of a dictatorial and corrupt communist system that was being put in place after WWII.

Even during the communist regime there was a president of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina assembly, named Ratomir Dugonjić, who between 1963 to 1967 filed a suit to the Yugoslavian council because of the illegal giveaway of Sutorina and Kruševica. But to no avail.

It is a modern political theft of territory and Montenegro after all the crimes it was involved in the agression on Bosnia & Herzegovina should have some decency and return what’s not belonging to them. But in any case, as the people in the whole region are the same and speak the same language with differences in dialect – one day hopefully all the territory will be free for all the people. As if we as humanity want to achieve something great national borders will have to be redefined. But as of now it is a direct theft and a total backstab, like many before, from the rotten government and political “leadership” in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

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