Croatia and BiH plan joint border patrols

Croatia and BiH plan joint border patrols

Director of Border Police Zoran Galić and Director of the Service for Foreigners Affairs, Slobodan Ujić, and their associates, held a working meeting with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia headed by Deputy General Director of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, Jozo Šuker.

He was accompanied by the Head of the Border Administration of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Ničeno, Chief of the Criminal Police Administration, Antonio Gerovac, Head of the Illegal Migration Service, Zvonimir Vrbljanin, PNUSKOK Head, Mario Kovač, Police Liaison Officer of the Croatian MoI, Denis Erak.

The meeting was also attended by acting Director of the BiH State Investigation and Protection Agency BiH (SIPA), Đuro Knežević.

The interlocutors discussed readmission, joint patrols, as well as other common activities, including operational actions implemented to prevent the smuggling of people. In particular, they focused on new modalities for cooperation in relation to illegal migration, which have increasingly been putting pressure on the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that of the neighbouring countries. Director of BP BiH Zoran Galić stressed the importance of cooperation of police agencies with the neighbouring countries in order to act more effectively in the fight against illegal migration.

“Last year, police officers of BP BiH deterred 13 251 people from attempting to illegally move to BiH from the neighbouring countries. BP BiH is not able to respond to the increasing pressure of migrants on its own, especially since the BiH border is guarded by one police officer per 25 kilometres, thus we are taking all possible measures and setting up new cooperation modalities in order to act more effectively when it comes to illegal migration”, Galić said.

Slobodan Ujić, Director of the Service for Foreigners Affairs of BiH, said that BiH respects the signed Readmission Agreement with the Republic of Croatia. “More than 85% of requests made by the Croatian authorities to BiH, or to the Service for Foreigners Affairs, have been positively resolved”. Ujić said.

In particular, he emphasized that there is a shortened readmission process with Croatia in force, which will also be discussed with Serbia and Montenegro in the forthcoming period, and expressed the need to hold regular meetings to resolve all outstanding issues in cooperation between the partner agencies of the two countries.

“It is our task to improve cooperation on all segments of our activities at the border of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and especially after the recent meeting of the Minister of the MoI of the Republic of Croatia and the Minister of Security of BiH. This is primarily related to the improvement of the readmission and mixed patrol systems, without the intention of Bosnia and Herzegovina being a ‘hot spot’ for illegal migrants’, said Deputy Director General of the MoI of the Republic of Croatia, Jozo Šuker. He also called on partner agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina to provide them with all necessary assistance with allegations of possible violations of human rights of migrants, as well as allegations of alleged unlawful acts by the Croatian police, so that the competent authorities of BP BiH investigate the allegations.

The attendees agreed and concluded that the improvement of cooperation of police agencies in BiH with the Croatian MoI is the primary goal, and that more frequent and regular meetings like this one are needed./ibna