Difficult Life of Migrants in the Forests near Velika Kladusa

Ahan Ahmed from Bangladesh comes to an improvised camp through a trampled steep path, where dozens of migrants, mostly his compatriots and Afghans, spend the winter in very difficult conditions.

He explains that they cook one of their traditional dishes in a covered tent. Dozens of migrants live in clumsily set up tents, and as they say, their most frequent guests are journalists and representatives of humanitarian organizations. Both are welcome, because, as they say, in their own way they help mitigate the difficulty of today and the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Nineteen-year-old Ahmed said that 16 people have lived in the small part of the camp where he has been staying for three months since he came to BiH.

The location near Velika Kladusa is not a coincidence. The nearness of the border with the Republic of Croatia and thus the European Union is crucial in choosing a place of their temporary residence.

As they say, they organized life according to the local conditions. Improvised wooden racks are placed between the tents on which they dry their clothes when the weather conditions allow it. Also, they are used to the thick smoke that accumulates in the covered space for cooking meals. It is not so cold, that is what matters for them.   

In order to make it easier to spend the cold winter nights, fires are being lit in the used metal parts of the car, so that the heat is kept as long as possible during the night. In the morning, it all starts again. For as much money as they have, they will get some groceries, and it all starts once again.

Aware that winter is not the only reason why they are “trapped” at the EU’s external border, they still hope to get to the countries of Western Europe. They have no intention of staying in BiH.

In the past three years, as the Prime Minister of the Una-Sana Canton (USC), Mustafa Ruznic, told AA, 94.500 migrants came there. It is the number of registered migrants.

All vulnerable categories in the USC area have been taken care of. Families, families with children, single women, and unaccompanied children are accommodated in camps Sedra and Borici, and they function without any problems.

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