Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH’s) minister of security Dragan Mektic stated on Wednesday here that the country is incapable of dealing with the migrants’ crisis, highlighting the problem of reception centres.
During the press conference, Mektic explained that the migrants’ crisis escalated, that the country cannot cope with it and find suitable reception centers where 8,000 migrants would reside.
Mektic explained that they were called to Brussels for a meeting in mid-July this year, and they were told that 10 milion euros are operational, but that a new location owned by the country has to be found.
“We identified five or six locations, but no local communities allowed us,” Mektic explained, pointing out that both entities of Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska did not want to give the space for migrants.
Mektic stated that migrants are staying in five privately owned reception centres in Una Sana Canton, located in the northwestern part of the country, which is the closest to the border with Croatia, a member of the European Union where migrants want to enter, but that this is not enough considering that 8,000 migrants are currently staying in BiH.
“There is a problem because migrants enter in the eastern border, these are illegal migrations mainly from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and illegal migrants who enter the border which has weaknesses,” Mektic said, adding that no matter that migrants entered illegally, the United Nations convention on the protection of migrants is applied.
All migrants have the intention to enter the Western Europe, 90.0 percent expresses intention for asylum, and legalize their stay in BiH for 14 days, where institutions are obliged to provide humanitarian help.
“The solution is to respect the Brussels agreement, where we have agreed to find two locations that are owned by the country. One in the Una-Sana Canton and one in the central part of BiH,” Mektic concluded, highlighting that still nothing has been done to solve this.
According to data from the European Union, more than 33,300 migrants entered BiH since 2018 and more than 34 million euros has been allocated from the EU since 2018 for the needs of migrants.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants had passed through the so-called Balkan route on their way to Western Europe before the route was closed down in 2016.
Information from BiH’s Ministry of Security showed that 10,525 migrants entered the territory of BiH between January and June this year.