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SAO Western Slavonia: Wikis


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Srpska autonomna oblast
Zapadna Slavonija

Српска аутономна област
Западна Славонија

Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Western Slavonia
Self-proclaimed insurgent entity



Capital Not specified
Government Provisional government
Historical era Breakup of Yugoslavia
 - Established 1990
 - Disestablished 1991

SAO Western Slavonia (Serbian: SAO Zapadna Slavonija or САО Западна Славонија) or Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Western Slavonia was a Serbian autonomous region (oblast) in Croatia. It was formed on 12 August 1991[1] and was subsequently included into Republic of Serbian Krajina.



Shortly after the proclamation of the SAO Western Slavonia, rebel Serb forces, assisted by the Serb-led Yugoslav Army and Serb paramilitary forces (from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina), took Okučani and Daruvar, threatening to sever Slavonia from Croatia proper. As a part of strategy of intimitidating the remaining Croats and other non-Serbs, they committed several atrocities, like massacres in Voćin, Četekovac and Kusonje.

At this time the area under Serbian control was relatively large, although the majority of the region was hilly and forested with poor infrastructure. During the next few months there was fierce fighting for Pakrac as paramilitaries ethnically cleansed non-Serbs from newly captured Western Slavonic districts. Most of the region was patrolled by poorly equipped Serbian militias drawn from the local Serb villages, and with JNA resources widely distributed at a precarious time, they were not in position to effectively cut Croatia in two. On October 31, 1991 Croatian forces launched Operation Otkos 10 securing the Bilogora hills. Following this success, the Croat Operation Orkan 91, on December 12, pushed back the Serb/Yugoslav forces into a small pocket only a fraction of the initial territory controlled. In the operation, Daruvar was taken.

During their retreat, Serbian paramilitaries were found to have committed the Voćin massacre in which between 32 [2] and 45[3] Croatian civilians were killed. On January 2, 1992 the UN brokered a ceasefire in Sarajevo, it is possible that this stopped the Croatian forces from eliminating the rebel Serb presence in Western Slavonia.

Daruvar Agreement

On February 18, 1993 Croatian and local Serb leaders signed the Daruvar Agreement. The Agreement was kept secret and was working towards normalizing life for the locals on the battlefield line. However, the rebel Serb authorities from Knin learned of the deal and arrested the rebel Serb leaders responsible for it.[4] Some political circles believed that some of those Serb leaders there were also willing to accept peaceful reintegration into Croatia.

SAO Western Slavonia was eliminated and the area reintegrated into Croatia in just two days in May 1995, during Operation Flash. In retaliation for this thorough defeat, Milan Martić launched rockets at Zagreb.

Administrative divisions

The territory of Western Slavonia under protection by the United Nations included 4 municipalities: Okučani, Pakrac, Daruvar and Grubišno Polje. However, the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina controlled only the municipality of Okučani and part of the municipality of Pakrac.

See also


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