BiH will soon be hit by a migrant crisis, political friction unveiled

BiH will soon be hit by a migrant crisis, political friction unveiled

According to the Republika Srpska government, Bosnia and Herzegovina can expect between 50 and 120 thousand migrants, who use BiH as a transit state on the way to EU countries via its eastern borders, in the next few months.

Since the problem grows by day and the joint BiH institutions are not yet even close to find solutions to accommodate, feed and medically aid such big number of migrants, the RS Government decided to hold an urgent session. They reached the conclusion that there is no way to accommodate in this entity.

After the session, which was held in Banja Luka, Prime Minister Željka Cvijanović said RS will not accept any decision by the BiH Council of Ministers and will not implement measures on its territory that will have bevn agreed without RS’s consent.  She said that one of the conclusions is that Republika Srpska police should increase their presence in border areas.

The RS Government will demand from the BiH Border Police to increase their operations at the borders. From the BiH Presidency, they will demand the engagement of the country’s Armed Forces in tighter border controls. One of the conclusions pertains to new talks over the asylum policy. The RS Government decided it will provide the necessary logistics for transportation and transit of migrants.

A few days ago, Cvijanović said to the media that the joint institutions of BiH are unprepared for the events “that now looks like a migrant crisis”.

“Statements by some members of the Council of Ministers of BiH citing that things are well organised sound unserious and are irritating. Citizens are upset and ask how a solution to this problem will be found as it carries many accommodations, health and security related risks,” Cvijanović stated.

As for the theory that the EU will help BiH with regard to an increasing number of incoming migrants, the RS PM has said that the EU can only help by opening its borders and accept them to its territory because it is where they are actually headed.

“Any other help is not a help. We are unable to care for them,” Cvijanović has said.

Republika Srpska President, Milorad Dodik, said that the RS will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens, their way of life and property, as well as the entity institutions from the migrant wave. Dodik, who attended the urgent government session, reiterated that Srpska will find a way to defend itself from the flows because it “does not want the structure of its population be altered in the future”.

“If BiH is not able to protect the interests of RS, then we do not need such a BiH,” Dodik told reporters.

He emphasised that BiH is “on the test” and supported the conclusions of the government, which he assessed as extensive measures that are not aimed only at the protection of the Republika Srpska, but also at the protection of the entire state territory.

“If we are well-intentioned on the other side, then they will take measures to close the border for migrants, return migrants from BiH, measures for agreement on new procedures for obtaining asylum and citizenship,” Dodik said.

He added that he is sorry for every migrant who had a problem, but that RS did not cause the problems and that the entity has no resources, like the Western countries do, to resolve the crisis.

Dodik noted that the migrant crisis was triggered by the Western countries that caused problems in the Middle East, primarily in Syria. Therefore, according to him it is these countries that should bear the greatest responsibility for those fleeing their conflict zone lands.

RS vice president, Ramiz Salkić, who is a Bosniak (Muslim), criticised the RS government’s conclusions, comparing migrants with the refugees from BiH who had to leave their homes during the war 1992-1995. Salkić said that Republika Srpska has yet to create the proper conditions for all “wannabe returnees”adding that “they (Republika Srpska) have never been good hosts, neither have they showed humanity and empathy when it was necessary”.

“It is a matter of prejudice, primarily because in the RS they think that all migrants are Muslims, but there are also Christians and people who belong to other religions among them. The Republika Srpska government considers that “some Muslims” who reach it do not fit into their concept of life and strategic goals – to have as few Bosnians and Croats as possible in this entity. In fact, they want an Orthodox entity and therefore they have a very rigid attitude towards migrants”, Salkić said.

According to the latest information issued by the BiH Border Police, the number of migrants who are illegally crossing the easter border is rising every day and they do not have enough officers to prevent all of them from entering the country. Several months after the crisis began, the BiH Council of Ministers will hold a relevant “consultative session” on Monday, May 14, in late afternoon…. / IBNA