Authorities in BiH announced Building of New Migrant Reception Center

June 5, 2019 4:00 PM

Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have announced that a new migrant reception center will be built near the city of Bihac. This center will replace two temporary reception centers.

The center will be built in Vucjak, eight kilometers from the Bihac city center, according to media sources.

The new structure will take the place of two temporary reception centers: Bira in Bihac and Miral in Velika Kladusa, both near the Croatia border. In 2018, 25,000 migrants entered Bosnia illegally from Serbia and Montenegro. Since the start of this year, police have registered 8,930 arrivals, Info Migrants writes.

On May 30th, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH’s) Migration Affairs Bureau has accepted the proposal for a new location of the construction of a temporary reception center for migrants in the Una-Sana Canton.

“At today’s session in Sarajevo, the proposal of the City of Bihac was accepted and a new reception center will be located at Vucjak, eight kilometers from the city’s zone. This was decided because two centers are located in densely populated places, the situation is extremely difficult and the normal functioning of the city is compromised,” was stated during the Operational Staff meeting.

Earlier in May, the Government of Sarajevo Canton (CS) today issued a Decision on allocating 200,000 BAM to help the Una Sana Canton (USC) in managing the migration crisis, where most migrants reside in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Communications Team of the City of Bihac presented a section of the data on the situation with migrants and refugees for the past year at today’s press conference. It was pointed out that since the end of April last year, 10,240 migrants and refugees were registered in the area of the City of Bihac.

“Since the beginning of the migrant crisis in our city, or since April 24, last year, 1.356.000 meals have been prepared. Every day, we provide three meals and hygienic supplies to the users of temporary accommodation centers in Bira and Borici. So far, we have spent 1,998,297 BAM.

“In the beginning, 15 volunteers were hired, now this is already a figure of 60 people,” said the Red Cross President of the City of Bihać, Abdulah Budimlic.

Deputy Commander of the Bihać Police Administration, Elvedin Omanovic, stressed that 50 persons were deported last year who were staying on the territory of this city.

“In 2018, there were 413 criminal offenses, of which 75 were committed by migrants. 492 violations of public peace and order were noted, and migrants participated in 34 such events. These were mostly thefts, home intrusions, serious theft, violent behavior, seizure of other people’s property, endangering security, lascivious behavior and acts, attempted rape and attempted murder. Migrants have committed 43 offenses in the past year,” Omanovic explained.

Thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded in Bosnia on their way to Western Europe. They are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The international Red Cross says some have died while trying to find shelter.

About 6,000 people have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina since the start of the year, according to the country’s security agencies. But all the transit centers, which can accommodate around 3,500 people, are full, forcing thousands to sleep rough.

“People are sleeping in parks, in carparks, on the footpath, and in dangerous buildings,” said Indira Kulenovic, operations manager for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Bosnia.

“A few weeks ago, three migrants sheltering in an abandoned building burned to death when a candle they were using caused a fire. Soon after, another fell from the top floor of a building he was sheltering in. Psychological stress among migrants is high – just last week one man set himself on fire in desperation,” Kulenovic said.

Bosnia is on the route of thousands of people from Asia and North Africa who try to enter Europe via neighboring Croatia, an EU member state. Last year, about 25,000 people entered Bosnia from Serbia and Montenegro.

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