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The Ten Day War (part two)

4–6 July 1991
With a ceasefire now in force, the two sides disengaged. Slovenian forces took control of all of the country's border crossings, and JNA units were allowed to withdraw peacefully to barracks and to cross the border to Croatia.

7 July 1991 and afterwards
The Ten-Day War was formally ended with the Brioni Accord, signed on the Croatian Brijuni Islands. Slovenian and Croatian independence were agreed to. The terms were distinctly favourable to Slovenia; it was agreed that Slovenia and Croatia would postpone their independence for three months—which in practical terms had little real impact—and the Slovenian police and armed forces (Slovenian Territorial Defence) were recognised as sovereign on their territory.

JNA personnel on ship
It was agreed that all Yugoslav military units would leave Slovenia, with the Yugoslav government setting a deadline of the end of October to complete the process. The Slovenian government insisted that the withdrawal should proceed on its terms; the JNA was not allowed to take much of its heavy weaponry and equipment, which was later either deployed locally or sold to other Yugoslav republics. The withdrawal began about ten days later and was completed by 26 October.

Due to the short duration and low intensity of the war, casualties were not high. According to Slovenian estimates, the JNA suffered 44 fatalities and 146 wounded, while the Slovenians had 19 killed and 182 wounded. Twelve foreign nationals were killed in the conflict, principally journalists and Bulgarian truck drivers who had strayed into the line of fire. 4,692 JNA soldiers and 252 federal police officers were captured by the Slovenian side. According to post-war assessments made by the JNA, its material losses amounted to 31 tanks, 22 armoured personnel carriers, 6 helicopters, 6,787 infantry weapons, 87 artillery pieces and 124 air defence weapons damaged, destroyed or confiscated. Property damage was not heavy, due to the scattered and short-term nature of the fighting.

Ljubljana Airport bombing
In the opening stages of the Ten-Day War, SFR Yugoslav authorities bombed the airport. Two Austrian journalists were injured, and several commercial aircraft were damaged in the process.

Holmec incident
The border station at Holmec was the location of an alleged war crime perpetrated by Slovenian TO forces on 28 June,[34] and filmed by the Austrian public broadcasting station ORF. Video footage shows a small group of JNA soldiers standing or walking slowly with raised hands, holding up a white sheet in an apparent attempt to surrender. Moments later, gunfire is heard and the soldiers fall or jump to the ground. Neither the origin of the gunfire nor its exact effect are clearly visible on the video segment. Slovene officials maintain that the JNA soldiers jumped for cover and were not hit, and that the matter was thoroughly investigated years ago. However, the incident sparked renewed public debate after the footage was shown on Serbian TV station B92 in 2006, with many claiming that the soldiers were shot and killed by Slovenian TO troops and that Slovenia is trying to cover up the affair.

The fate of the JNA soldiers identified on the footage is disputed. One report claims that the soldiers are still alive, 15 years after the conflict. Other reports identify three young soldiers as victims (Zoran Ješić, Goran Maletić and Antonio Šimunović) and claim that they were killed in the Holmec incident.

Strategic aspects
The actions of Slovenia's forces were largely dictated by the military strategy devised some months before and were tightly integrated with an equally detailed media management plan. An international media centre was established prior to the outbreak of conflict with Jelko Kacin designated to act as information minister and Slovenia's public face to the world. The Slovenian government and media successfully presented the conflict to Western European audiences as a case of a "David versus Goliath" struggle between an emerging democracy and an authoritarian communist state, and the columns of Yugoslav tanks brought to mind the events of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 two years earlier. This won considerable international sympathy and favourable media coverage for the cause of independent Slovenia.

The Slovenians had the advantage of superior morale, compared to their adversaries in the Yugoslav army.[citation needed] Many of the Yugoslav soldiers did not realise they were taking part in a real military operation, rather than an exercise, until they came under attack. They sent only 2000 untried conscripts, which split up into smaller groups. It was a tactical error. The officer corps was dominated by Serbs and Montenegrins and in many cases ideologically committed to Yugoslav unity. The rank and file troops however were conscripts, many of whom had no strong motivation in fighting against Slovenes. Of the soldiers of the 5th Military District, which was in action in Slovenia, in 1990 30% were Albanians, 20% Croats, 15 to 20% Serbs and Montenegrins, 10% Bosniaks, and 8% Slovenes.

The Slovenians were also well aware that the Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević was not particularly concerned about Slovenia's independence, given the lack of any significant Serbian minority in the country. On 30 June, Defence Minister General Kadijević suggested to the Yugoslav federal presidency a massive attack on Slovenia to break down the unexpectedly heavy resistance. But the Serb representative, Borisav Jović, shocked the military establishment by declaring that Serbia did not support further military action against Slovenia. Serbia was at this point more concerned with the situation in Croatia; even before the war had ended, JNA troops were already repositioning themselves for the imminent war in Croatia.

According to the journalist Hermann Tertsch, who covered that war firsthand:

The weak military deployment of the federal army had only two reasons, the external cosmetic, to claim that Belgrade defended its international borders. And the collection of property from its bases in Slovenia, especially from the borders with Austria and Italy. On the 25th the independence of this ethnically homogeneous republic had been proclaimed, without a religious minority or any Serb legacy. On July 7, having collected properties and documents from the barracks, the Yugoslav army, in reality already pan-Serbian, left a Slovenia that Milosevic and his generals did not give a damn about."

Consequences of the war
For Slovenia, the war marked the decisive defence of its independence in regard to Yugoslavia. It was officially recognised by all European Community member states on 15 January 1992 and joined the United Nations on 22 May.

The war led to a series of major shifts on the Yugoslav side. The JNA eventually lost nearly all of its Slovenian and Croat personnel, becoming an almost entirely Serbian and Montenegrin force. Its poor performance in Slovenia and later in Croatia discredited its leadership – Kadijević resigned as defence minister in January 1992, and Adžić was forced into medical retirement shortly afterwards.

The Slovenian and Croatian governments were urged by the European Commission to freeze their declaration of independence for a period of three months, hoping to ease tension, to which Slovenia and Croatia agreed. Slovenia used the period to consolidate its institutions, deliver some of the most urgent economic reforms and prepare for international recognition of the country.

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