Migrant issue in BiH in danger of turning into a humanitarian crisis

Migrant issue in BiH in danger of turning into a humanitarian crisis

Authorities of the city of Bihać, in the western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, announced that as of today they will stop with water supply and garbage collection in the temporary reception centre for migrants on the location Vučijak, just a few kilometres from the city. The decision came after the unsuccessful calls to the state authorities to help with the problem.

Although the Red Cross announced that they will continue with food supply to illegal migrants, they were not able to say until when they will do it.

The EU Delegation to BiH called upon all levels of government to urgently address the challenges that the migrant flow is posing to BiH. All authorities must step up their efforts and take responsibility.

“The EU condemns the forcible transfer of hundreds of migrants to the improvised Vučijak shelter by the Una-Sana Canton police. We call upon the authorities in Bihać and Una-Sana Canton to immediately cease the forcible transfer of migrants to Vučijak. We have been clear in our discussions with all the relevant authorities that the Vučijak shelter must be closed. It is not only unsafe but also an undignified location”, stresses the EU Delegation in a statement.

The EU, as they said, is ready to deploy significant assistance for the development of those new sites. Since 2018 the EU has provided €34 million. This support includes the provision of shelter, food, water, sanitation, clothing, psychosocial assistance and access to education and health in five reception centres.

“EU assistance is also strengthening migration management capacities through the provision of the necessary equipment and assistance to the Una Sana Canton Police, the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs, the BiH Border Police and the Sector for Asylum. It also helps the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the voluntary return of migrants to their countries of origin. The EU will continue to support improving the capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities for coping with the migration challenges but we also expect all the authorities in the country to work together in good faith to find ways for burden sharing”, said the EU.

BiH Deputy of the Security minister, Mijo Krešić, said that BiH faces a complex security threat because no adequate solution for the migrant crisis has been found so far.

“The increased number of migrant entries into BiH is quite noticeable, as is the fact that they are leaving the country harder and harder. Many of them are concentrating in the state without any strict supervision or control”, Krešić said.

He expressed fears that the crisis could turn into a humanitarian crisis and said that the new government must be formed as soon as possible so it could improve the management system of illegal migrations.

While the authorities in BiH are arguing who is responsible to take care of the illegal migrants, the truth is that nobody knows how many of them are in the country, at a time when human trafficking has increased and more immigrants are coming to the country.

If winter comes without a solution the humanitarian crisis in BiH will be unavoidable./ibna