The EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina expresses concern about the migration situation in the country. The humanitarian crisis is becoming a reality because of the lack of action of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The current weather conditions seriously put at risk the lives of over 2,000 persons sleeping outside in dire conditions and of the 1,300 persons located at the temporary Lipa facility, which is unsuitable for winter as the authorities failed to ensure that the necessary conditions are in place.
This risks further impacting the overall security situation as well as the humanitarian crisis, in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solutions exist and the EU is ready to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in the necessary actions.
As an immediate priority, we urge the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to temporarily relocate the refugees and migrants currently in Lipa to the EU-funded reception centre “Bira” in Bihać, which was unlawfully emptied by the Cantonal authorities on 30 September 2020 and which is ready to host them.
In addition, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina should fulfil their commitment to open an additional reception centre in Ciljuge near Tuzla in order to ensure shelter for all persons in need in the coming winter.
The EU has provided considerable financial and technical support to Bosnia and Herzegovina to better manage migration and asylum and assist citizens in coping with the challenging situation.
We urge the authorities to act with the utmost urgency to save lives. The EU will continue to stand by all citizens and support the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in coping with the challenging situation.