Bosnia Urged to House Migrants Camping in Tents (Balkan Insight)

Date Publish: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bosnia Urged to House Migrants Camping in Tents

As winter looms, the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, has urged Bosnia to resolve the housing issues of some 300 migrants and refugees camping in the open, or in tents.

(Mladen Lakic, BIRN,Sarajevo)
People from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria rest in a park in Sarajevo, Bosnia, 10 May 2018. Migrants and refugees have set up a camp highlighting a recent rise in people using Bosnia as a transit route. Photo: EPA


The accommodation of about 300 migrants camping in a tent settlement in Velika Kladusa in north-west Bosnia should be resolved as a priority matter, a meeting of state representatives and the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, agreed on Wednesday.

With the cold weather approaching, Peter Van der Auweraert from IOM voiced concern about the hundreds of migrants and refugees now housed in tents, as local authorities continue to bicker about solutions.

"If they [local authorities] offer a location for them tomorrow, containers then still need to be provided ... These people are migrants, not criminals, but if we enter the winter and if people do not have adequate accommodation, they will try to provide for themselves in some way," Van der Auweraert warned.

Bosnia’s Security Minister, Dragan Mektic, on Sunday said the number of migrants registered in Bosnia, presumably heading to Western Europe, was now 14,969 – of whom 13,958 had expressed an intention to seek asylum, but only 399 actually had done so.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the OSCE, Stephanie Woldenberg, a senior protection officer for the UNHCR refugee agency, said more than 1,000 refugees and migrants were sleeping in the open in Bihac and Velika Kladusa, two northwestern towns near the Croatian border, N1, regional TV station reported.