EU calls for the immediate closure of the Vučijak camp

EU calls for the immediate closure of the Vučijak camp

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina Johan Sattler, during his visit to Bihać today, handed over 11 new vehicles for the needs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Una-Sana Canton (MIA USK), and at meetings with representatives of the city and cantonal authorities urged the immediate closure of the temporary camp for migrants at the Vučjak location.

“We have provided 11 new vehicles for police officers and thus the European Union’s support in BiH has reached BAM 36 million. Funds, of course, have been provided to address the problems and challenges that come with the migrant crisis. However, not all of them go to migrants and refugees as significant funds would be used to support local communities,” said Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Johan Sattler.

He also stressed the request made at today’s meetings by representatives of local and cantonal authorities.

“On meetings with the Mayor, Prime Minister and members of the Government, and the Police Commissioner, I requested the immediate closure of the temporary migrant camp at Vučjak. The site has no conditions and it is unacceptable when it comes to hygiene aspects, not to mention the proximity of areas still under mine,” Sattler emphasized.

The European Union’s position on the eventual closure of the Bira and Miral reception centers was also presented at the meetings. This was said to be impracticable in a short period of time, as the lease agreements expire on November 15.

Cantonal Prime Minister Mustafa Ružnić thanked for the support of the European Union, but also reiterated certain views of the Task Force on the situation with migrants in the USK.

“It is only thanks to the support of the European Union and international organizations that we are not alone in this situation. Therefore, I must again appeal to the competent state institutions to become involved in solving the problem. We will do our best to displace the migrants from Vučijak, as we are also not satisfied with the conditions at the location, but I must also reiterate that we remain in the position on the need for migrants and refugees to be removed from urban centers. We need coordination of all participants in the process and unburdening of the Una-Sana Canton”, Ružnić said.

Bihać Mayor Šuhret Fazlić once again offered the city-owned Lipa location and announced tomorrow’s extraordinary City Council session.

“I offered the site a long time ago, however, the representatives of international organizations did not accept it because of the distance from the city and the inability to provide services. On tomorrow’s session, we will try to get the consent from the City Council, so we will have the official decision. We can bring the electricity and water relatively fast, as well as all other services necessary for the camp to function, so we cannot be told that we do not offer adequate state-owned sites”, Mayor Fazlić said.

All participants of the meeting stated that it is unacceptable that the Canton of Una-Sana bears the brunt of the migration process almost alone, and that it is high time for adequate response from the competent state and entity authorities./ibna