Today the border crossing of Maljevac is calm. But for how long?
“A small confrontation between the migrants happened last night, but luckily, there were no serious injuries” – says the spokesperson of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior
This Wednesday migrants who were camping here tried to forcefully cross the Croatian border.
Spokesperson Sanela Dujković of the BiH Border Police explained that the migrants tried to enter Croatian territory three times yesterday, through the bridge.
” In the evening hours the migrants became more aggressive. They threw glass bottles and stones at the Croatian police, which is why they were moved deeper in BiH territory, about 500 metres. During the scuffling some policemen and migrants were hurt, but those were minor injuries”
She also pointed out that today there are some 150 migrants at the Maljevac border crossing.
“It is evident that there are vulnerable categories here, women and children. The Border Police has set up an operative headquarters in Velika Kladuša, and today meetings will be held with the police. All in all, the night was calm”
These are things as they stood yesterday, on Thursday the 25.
On Wednesday, during the afternoon, migrants tried a more ambitious approach.
Hundreds of them broke through a BiH police cordon and blocked the Maljevac border crossing, trying to pressure Croatia to open its borders and let them travel north.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a major transit point for migrants taking the Balkan route for years now, with thousands trying their luck every year. Right now, the problem is that a large number of them are stuck in the impoverished country and they are becoming worried about the coming of winter weather and a lack of adequate shelter.
The vast majority of these people want to migrate to wealthy EU member states. And as they have already crossed multiple countries to even get to BiH and Croatia, they are by no means, refugees.
When the migrants met the Croatian police, some of them threw stones and scuffled with the officers, who responded by using teargas and batons. A woman suffered head injuries and was taken to hospital, along with another injured man, two policemen were also slightly injured, according to a police spokeswoman.
The migrants, including some families with children, spent two nights sleeping rough, close to the border. On Wednesday, they pitched tents and laid sleeping bags on the road, which was closed to traffic. They think that by ‘protesting’ like this, they will be let in, not going to happen. They’re illegals.
There are some 5,000 other migrants that are estimated to be stuck in Bosnia and Herzegovina, mostly in the towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa near the Croatian border.