Bosnia’s authorities eventually were relocated some 700 migrants from a freezing makeshift camp in north-western Vučjak mountain to former army barracks outside the capital, Sarajevo. The day after a group of migrants had returned there from The Game, what they call their attempts to illegally cross the border with Croatia. They found no people, only the excavators demolishing the site in order to prevent people from getting back.
Ever since it was opened last June, the international organizations, human rights activists and volunteers have been appealing its closure because of inhuman conditions. There was no running water, no proper toilets, no permanent electricity, no heating. It was placed on top of a landfill, in the area littered with mines from the 1990s war.
Still, some residents have been trying to stay there because the Croatian border, which means the EU border, is only eight kilometres away. They refused to enter the buses. Apparently, security risk was the reason the media have been banned from entering within three kilometres of the campsite.
BH Journalists Association and Civil Rights Defenders called upon local authorities as well as the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) to allow and facilitate media reporting of the deportation of migrants.
Furthermore, the media have no access to two temporary facilities that housed the migrants from Vučjak. The entry is restricted to a limited number of organizations. The activists warn the new places are equally inhuman as the previous one that some journalists qualified as crime against humanity. Now, they are no more stuck in the mud, they do have warm beds, food, water and toilets; yet they live in a ghetto.
Over 25,000 migrants passed through Bosnia and Herzegovina this year. Some 8,000 are currently in the country, hoping to get into the EU. Five IOM-run centres can hold up to 5,000 people. The country is in a political impasse since the general elections in October 2018. It has no capacity to deal with the increasing number of migrants after Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia closed their borders against undocumented immigration. The Sarajevo Canton police were just forbidden to go on vacation or to take the days off.
“It is all about EU hypocrisy. They (migrants) come to us from the EU, from Greece, to be precise. And then that very same EU criticises us to do this or not to do that. We should ask the EU to get those people back. We are not capable to take care of ourselves, especially not of migrants”, a ruling political party leader said a few days ago addressing the youth, Fair Planet reports.