The Attack on the Humanitarian Convoy at Nova Bila

The date 22 December 1993 is remembered as one of the most difficult and bloodiest days for Croats from the Lašva Valley in central Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the 251st consecutive day of attacks by Bosnian Muslims on the town of Vitez and United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) personnel forced the “White Road to Nova Bila and Bosna Srebrena” humanitarian convoy to return to Croatia.

The convoy of almost 100 trucks carried humanitarian aid for Nova Bila, located between Travnik and Vitez, a place that became an enclave of Croatian refugees from the Travnik municipality after the outbreak of conflict between Muslims and Croats. The convoy left Zagreb on 10 December 1993 and despite being accompanied by UNPROFOR, it was attacked, robbed, stopped and repeatedly searched as it travelled for many days through areas under the control of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). It was not until 20 December that the first trucks arrived in the Lašva Valley.

The convoy departed the Lašva Valley at approximately 9:40 AM on 22 December. As it passed through Uskoplje, BiH Army soldiers ran out of nearby houses in front of the trucks and opened fire on the truck cabins with automatic weapons. Truck driver Ante Vlaić from Split was killed instantly and three other members “White Road” humanitarian convoy were wounded. A street in Nova Bila was named in honour of Ante Vlaić.

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