Bosnia Struggles With Thousands Of Migrants On New Route To Western Europe

Date Publish: 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

 

Bosnia Struggles With Thousands Of Migrants On New Route To Western Europe
16 May, 2018

 

Bosnia-Herzegovina is struggling to cope with an influx of thousands of migrants mostly from the Middle East trying to reach Western Europe that authorities and aid groups warn could develop into a crisis.

Bosnia's governing council met on May 15 to consider measures to deal with the thousands of migrants who have turned to the small Balkan country in recent months, trying to avoid more heavily guarded routes and borders in the Balkans. About 4,000 people from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, and Afghanistan have entered Bosnia so far this year compared with 755 in 2017, migrant aid groups say. Most are seeking to cross the border into EU-member Croatia, and then move on toward Western Europe, but about 1,500 have remained in the country after being blocked from entering the European Union.

The government of Bosnia does not have the facilities to accommodate so many migrants, as its asylum center in Sarajevo has only 200 beds, with 80 to 150 people arriving each day, Security Minister Dragan Mektic said on May 14. The International Organization for Migration expects arrivals in Bosnia to continue to average 350 to 400 a week, although local activists say the number this year has been higher than that. Dozens of people have been camping outside in a park in central Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, where they have set up a small tent settlement. Local residents have been bringing food and clothes to help.

Bosnia's Council of Ministers on May 15 met to consider measures to provide more housing, food, and medical care for the migrants. Officials have warned that the influx could strain Bosnia's already weak economy. "Where can we get the money, where?" Mektic said on state TV, calling for help from the European Union and other Balkan countries in controlling the influx. "The route is growing and we could face a crisis."

Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, expressed concern in a letter to Bosnian authorities on May 15 over the "lack of systematic response" to the situation. "I am concerned to learn that many refugees and migrants, including families with children, sleep rough on the streets and have irregular access to food," Mijatovic wrote. "This situation cannot continue in this way."

"The longer we wait to put accommodation and everything with it in place, the risk is we are creating...a mini-humanitarian crisis," said Peter Van Der Auweraert, western Balkans coordinator at the International Organization for Migration. "It has to be done not in two months time but...next week," he said.

More than a million migrants entered Europe through the Balkans in 2015 before many countries in the region closed their borders. EU member Hungary set up barbed-wire fences on its southern border with Serbia to stop the influx of migrants. In this year's wave, migrants have been arriving first in Greece after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey, then moving on toward Albania and Montenegro and eventually to Bosnia, where they hope to cross the border into Croatia or Slovenia. Previously, migrants used a route through Greece to Macedonia and Serbia, and then on to Croatia or Hungary.

Included in the recent influx into Bosnia are people who were stranded in Serbia after the borders of neighboring EU member states were closed in 2016. The migrants stuck in Serbia are now increasingly attempting to cross into the EU through Bosnia. Many Iranian migrants are also crossing into Bosnia from Serbia, after having taken advantage of a visa-free regime introduced last year between Serbia and Iran.

In the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac, some 200 to 250 people, including families with children, have been staying in an abandoned former students home. Local authorities and aid groups have provided food, basic medical aid, water, and containers with showers, Van Der Auweraert said. "It is a big challenge to accommodate people in a building that is obviously abandoned, but compared to Sarajevo where people are sleeping in the streets, it is obviously a better solution," he said. During lunch time, a windowless concrete hall is used to host dozens of migrants for a warm meal. Among them recently was a man who idenitified himself as Ibrahim from Syria, who said he had tried to cross into Croatia with fellow migrants but police there beat them, broke their mobile phones, and took their money. "We are human, not animals," Ibrahim said.

"I was sent back from Croatia six times," said Omar from Iraq, who declined to give his last name. He said he arrived in Bosnia with his younger brother after spending two years in Greece. "I must get to Germany because all my family is there," Omar, 19, said.

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/bosnia-struggles-thousands-migrants-new-route-western-europe/29229172.html

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Bosna se bori sa hiljadama migranata koji se kreću na novoj ruti prema zapadnoj Evropi

16. maj 2018. 

 

Bosna i Hercegovina se bori da izađe na kraj s prilivom migranata, koji u najvećem dijelu dolaze s Bliskog Istoka u pokušaju da se domognu zapadne Evrope. Vlasti i humanitarne grupe su izdale upozorenje da se ovo može razviti u krizu.

Vijeće ministara BiH je održalo sjednicu 15. maja s ciljem razmatranja mjera koje bi mogle pomoći hiljadama migranata koji su krenuli prema ovoj maloj balkanskoj zemlji posljednjih mjeseci, u pokušaju da izbjegnu dobro čuvane granice na Balkanu. Oko 4000 ljudi iz Sirije, Iraka, Turske, Alžira i Afganistana su ušli u Bosnu do sada, u usporedbi sa 755 koji su došli cijele prošle godine, kažu u humanitarnim grupama građana. Većina želi ući u Hrvatsku, koja je članica Evropske Unije, te nastaviti dalje prema zemljama zapadne Evrope, ali ih je oko 1500 ostalo zaglavljeno u zemlji nakon što su spriječeni da uđu u Evropsku Uniju.

Vlada Bosne i Hercegovine ne posjeduje prostore u kojima bi mogla smjestiti ovoliki broj migranata, jer Azilantski centar u Sarajevu ima samo oko 200 kreveta, dok 80-150 ljudi ulazi u zemlju dnevno, rekao je Ministar sigurnosti BiH, Dragan Mektić 14. maja. Međunarodna organizacija za migracije očekuje da će se dolasci u Bosnu i Hercegovinu nastaviti u broju od 350-400 ljudi sedmično, iako lokalni aktivisti govore da su ti brojevi ove godine veći od toga. Desetine ljudi kampuju vani u parku u centru Sarajeva, glavnog grada Bosne i Hercegovine, gdje su smješteni u malom šatorskom naselju. Građani Sarajeva donose odjeću i hranu u pokušaju da pomognu.

Vijeće ministara BiH je održalo sjednicu 15. maja na kojoj su razmatrali mjere kojima će se osigurati dodatni smještaj, hrana i medicinska pomoć za migrante. Zvaničnici su upozorili da bi ovaj priliv mogao pojačati pritisak na ionako slabu ekonomiju zemlje.  “Gdje možemo naći novac, gdje?”, izjavio je ministar sigurnosti, gospodin Dragan Mektić na nacionalnom TV kanalu, u pokušaju da požuri pomoć iz Evropske Unije i drugih balkanskih zemalja koje kontrolišu priliv migranata. “Ova ruta raste i možemo se naći u krizi”.

U pismu koje je poslala vlastima u BiH 15. maja, Dunja Mijatović, Komesar Vijeća Evrope za ljudska prava, je izrazila zabrinutost oko “nedostatka sistematskog odgovora” na situaciju. “Zabrinuta sam jer sam saznala da mnoge izbjeglice i migranti, uključujući porodice s djecom, spavaju vani na ulicama i nemaju regularan pristup hrani”, napisala je Mijatović. “Ova situacija se ne može nastaviti na ovaj način”.

“Što duže čekamo da uspostavimo dodatni smještaj i sve što ide s njim, postoji rizik da ćemo stvoriti…mini humanitarnu krizu”, rekao je Peter Van der Auweraert, Koordinator IOM-a za zapadni Balkan. “Ovo se mora završiti ne za dva mjeseca, nego…iduće sedmice” dodao je.

Više od million migranata je stiglo u Evropu kroz Balkan 2015., prije nego su regionalne zemlje zatvorile svoje granice. EU članica Mađarska je postavila žičane ograde na južnoj granici prema Srbiji u pokušaju da zaustavi priliv migranata. U ovogodišnjem valu, migranti dolaze prvo u Grčku nakon prelaska Egejskog mora iz Turske, te onda idu dalje prema Albaniji i Crnoj Gori, na kraju i do Bosne, gdje se nadaju da će preći granicu i ući u Hrvatsku ili Sloveniju. Prije ove rute, migranti su se kretali preko Grčke, Makedonije i Srbije, i onda išli u Hrvatsku ili Mađarsku.

Među migrantima koji dolaze u Bosnu se nalaze i ljudi koji su ostali zaglavleni u Srbiji nakon što su se granice sa susjednim zemljama članicama EU zatvorile 2016. godine. Migranti koji su zaglavljeni u Srbiji sada se pokušavaju domoći EU preko Bosne. Veliki broj iranskih migranata također u Bosnu dolazi iz Srbije, koristeći priliku koju im nudi bezvizni režim s tom zemljom, a koji je uspostavljen prošle godine.

U gradu na sjevero-zapadu BiH, Bihaću, nekih 200-250 ljudi, uključujući i porodice s djecom su smješteni u napuštenim studentskim domovima. Lokalne vlasti su osigurale hranu, osnovnu medicinsku pomoć, vodu i tuš kabine, rekao je Van der Auweraert. “Veliki je izazov smjestiti ljude u napuštenu zgradu, ali u usporedbi sa Sarajevom, gdje ljudi spavaju na ulicama, to je očito bolje rješenje”, dodao je. Tokom ručka, betonska sala bez prozora, koja je nekad udomljavala studente je priredila dobrodošlicu migrantima s toplim obrokom. Među njima je Ibrahim iz Sirije, koji kaže da je pokušavao preći u Hrvatsku sa svojim drugovima, ali da ih policija tamo tuče, uzima i uništava mobitele, te čupa novac. “Mi smo ljudi, ne životinje”, kaže Ibrahim.

“Vraćen sam iz Hrvatske 6 puta”, rekao nam je Omar iz Iraka, koji je odbio reći svoje prezime. Rekao je da je stigao u Bosnu sa svojim mlađim bratom nakon što je proveo dvije godine u Grčkoj. “Moram se domoći Njemačke jer je sva moja porodica tamo”, rekao je Omar, koji ima 19 godine.

Izvor: https://www.rferl.org/a/bosnia-struggles-thousands-migrants-new-route-western-europe/29229172.html