Bosnia Police halting migrants as crisis escalates

Date: 
October, 2019
Country: 
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian police could also be seen rounding up migrants and taking them to the nearby notorious Vucjak camp. They were not allowed to stay in the Bosnian town of Bihac.

Elsewhere local security forces took dozens of migrants from a Bihac-bound train and bused them away from the town. But even those who do arrive in the camp face hardship.

Migrants fleeing war, persecution, and poverty are desperate. "I have such a problem, no toilet, no water, please some media, help me," one man said.

"No bathroom, electricity, no phone charging, no signal... Nothing. Nothing for a human to stay and live here. It's difficult. I can't go down [to Bihac] to speak with my family," added Halid, a migrant from Egypt.

Adding to the difficulties is Monday's decision by authorities here to cut the camp's water supplies. They want to pressure the Bosnian government to help relocate thousands of migrants.

Official estimates show that some 40,000 migrants entered Bosnia since 2018. More than 7,000 of them have settled in the northwest Bihac area, hoping to cross into nearby European Union member state Croatia and go on to the affluent north and west of the E.U.

Nearly 20 percent of the migrants are children.

As they wait, hundreds of migrants staying at the Vucjak camp could be seen carrying plastic bottles filled with water they got from residents. The local Red Cross handed out small bottles of water with a morning meal.

But with winter approaching, the U.N. migration agency and the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner have urged Bosnia to relocate this overcrowded migrant camp. They warn of a humanitarian risk because of what they view as "deplorable" conditions.

Source: Vatican News