The initial fear of the residents of the Blazuj settlement near Bosnia-Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo, that the arrival of migrants to the barracks in their settlement would cause problems, is lesser now.
In the beginning, there was some resentment, primarily because there is a school near the newly formed migrant camp, and residents planned to block the traffic.
As Osman Duderija, president of the local committee and member of Local Community Blazuj, told Radiosarajevo.ba, that the situation is calm for now and that there are no incidents.
“If it stays this way, it will be fine. Migrants rarely go here, police patrols are there, so we have not had any problems so far,” Djudrija explained.
There is a temporary prayer corner for migrants of Islamic faith.
There are more than 350 migrants in Blazuj migration temporary center. International and domestic organizations are working hard to ensure the most humane conditions for migrants at this center.
Forty thousand people have passed through Bosnia since 2018, and up to six thousand are stuck in the Una-Sana canton, where Bihać is, while they wait to try to cross the border into Croatia, Europe’s first outpost. Migrants call their attempts to cross into Europe and evade Croatian border patrol “the game” – a game they have to restart multiple times, paying a high price in suffering, money and time. At the border, in the woods, chances are high that the refugees will encounter the violence and batons of the Croatian police and be returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has become a sort of buffer state on the margins of Europe.