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Bosnia and Herzegovina Will Not Permanently Handle Migrants

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot handle the rise in number of migrants and refugees. There is not enough money to care for the more than 9.000 migrants and refugees, who have since the start of the year been registered in BiH.

The first million euros of aid were provided to the government of BiH from the Council of Europe Development Bank, for the furnishing of living quarters for approximately 400 persons in the area of the former Ušivak barracks, not far from the capital, Sarajevo.

After several days of moving from location to location, 102 people, mostly refugee families with children, who have been living in very bad conditions in the tent complex in Velika Kladuša and Djakovo’s home in Bihac were settled in Sedra hotel near Cazin. Their care is funded by the European Union with about 1.5 million euros. After the hotel is completely renovated, it will host approximately 200 migrants.

At the same time, the reconstruction of the former Ušivak barracks was begun, not far from Sarajevo, where some 400 refugees and migrants should be accommodated for some 20 days. For this purpose, the Council of Europe Development Bank has donated a million euros to BiH, which will be used by the International Organization for Migration.

“This financial support will really help the project to be very successful and it is BiH’s support to address the humanitarian crisis and the increasing inflow of migrants,” says Council of Europe Development Bank Vice-Governor Maria Sanchez-Diebra Alonso.

In addition to this, and as claimed by the Minister of Security of BiH, Dragan Mektić,the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has agreed to open three reception centres for refugees and migrants.

“I have agreed with the reception centres in Velika Kladuša and in Bihać, I have arranged the moving of the migrants in the area of Cazin Municipality and the arrangement of a reception centre that will be in the area of the Bosanski Petrovac Municipality”, explains Mektić

The Migration Crisis has hit Unsko-Sanski Canton the hardest. Thousands of refugees and migrants are staying in this area, near the border Croatian border, hoping they will still be able to cross the border. While the BiH authorities, see the restructuring of the Agrokomerc factory in Velika Kladuša as the only solution, EU officials have refused to provide the necessary money, with the justification that the facility is too close to the EU border. Minister Mektić says migrants can not stay in BiH for years.

“That we should be the country where these migrants would accumulate, not that. And I even said to Wigemark, I do not mind a wire (fence). In these days I will submit an initiative to amend the Law on Armed Forces of BiH and the Defense Act in which I will allow the military to assist border police in border protection when it comes to migration, “Mektić says.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
I don’t mind a fence: Dragan Mektić

According to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Security, more than 9,000 refugees and migrants have been registered in BiH since the beginning of the year. Half of them still reside in BiH. Most refugees and migrants have applied for asylum in BiH, but only 800 have agreed to stay and be settled in BiH, says deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Service Mirsad Buzar.

Migrants do not really want asylum, they are abusing the international protection system. If borders are to be closed, I think primarily of the Republic of Croatia, of course, BiH will have to make additional efforts to close its borders to its neighbors, Serbia and Montenegro, “Buzar believes.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
At present there are about 4,000 refugees and migrants who are in some way stuck in BiH

For most migrants, Bosnia and Herzegovina is the country of transit in their intention to reach European Union countries. At present there are about 4,000 refugees and migrants in some way stuck in BiH because the Republic of Croatia does not allow them to cross the border and thus become get into wider Europe. This vacuum for BiH has become insupportable claims the BiH Presidency member, Mladen Ivanić.

“The only realistic solution is greater border control. We live in a country where people are not able to provide themselves with normal living conditions, let alone taking care of migrants. Europe must realise that we can not agree that all their help is reduced to the fact that those (migrants) who are here, remain here, and to give money for that purpose. Some other countries have solved this very quickly and efficiently and now the question is asked why this is now even a new route, “Ivanić asks. 

Šuhret Fazlić, mayor of Bihać, that 50 councillors and most municipal mayors from Krajina held a peaceful protest  in front of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Institution building due to the migration crisis.

“We go to Sarajevo because the competent agencies of the Ministry of Security are not doing their job and that’s why all these problems arise. We are solving this now because we have to, and every day we come from 30 to 50 new migrants in Bihać, “explained Fazlić

In mid-August, the BiH Presidency discussed how to tighten border control with the neighbouring states of Serbia and Montenegro, from where refugees and migrants enter BiH.


This article was translated from Serbo-Croatian and can be found here in its original state.

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