Number of migrants entering BiH has drastically decreased: minister

SARAJEVO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — A total of 14,969 migrants have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) since the beginning of this year, the country’s security minister Dragan Mektic revealed Sunday in Bana Luka, a city located 190 kilometers northwest of the capital.

Speaking at a press conference, Mektic said the number of migrants entering the territory of BiH has “drastically decreased” and that those who enter do not want to stay in the country. Migrants are mostly treated as economic ones, using BiH as a transit country en route to the European Union (EU) member states.

Out of the total number, 13,958 migrants expressed their intention for asylum, but only 399 have actually applied for it, according to the minister.

“The number of migrants has drastically decreased and with the arrival of winter, the number will be even smaller. We will try to protect the border,” Mektic said.

Meanwhile, authorities are, according to the minister, taking care that migrants are treated in a humane manner, and have an adequate treatment under the international law and conventions that BiH ratified.
Some 80 percent of migrants enter from the eastern border with Serbia, originating mainly from Pakistan, Syria and Iran, said the minister.

Mektic pointed out the need to hire 2,000 additional police officers at BiH borders in order to completely control the places with the most migration pressure.
The EU announced in August that it will support BiH in managing the migrations with 6 million euros (7.06 million U.S. dollars), and the money will be used to “provide accommodation and basic services for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants as well as to strengthen the capacity for border control and surveillance.”

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