The migration situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is alarming. Over 3,300 refugees and migrants will find themselves without access to basic shelter and services in the country with the imminent closure of the facility in Lipa, which was a temporary measure to cope with the COVID-19 situation over summer, and no alternative solution from the authorities, is stated by the HR/VP Josep Borrell, Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi.
We urge the authorities, once again, to rise above political considerations and reopen the centre in Bira and open the facility in Ciljuge near Tuzla. Competent authorities need to cooperate and act with the utmost urgency to address the needs of all refugees and migrants without shelter and save lives. Interests of local population also must be taken into account and we will work with relevant authorities in this sense.
The EU continues to support Bosnia and Herzegovina and its citizens in coping with the challenging situation, and has just made additional funding available for this purpose. The EU also supports Bosnia and Herzegovina in overall migration management, including asylum and strengthening border control, to build the necessary capacity to effectively address migration.
Migrants from the Lipa camp should be relocated today because the closure of this camp has been announced.
Namely, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) twice announced, and postponed, the closure of the Lipa migrant camp near Bihac.
During the weekend, information emerged that 1,500 migrants should be relocated to the Bira camp, however, judging by the words of the mayor of Bihac, Suhret Fazlic, this will not happen.
”There is no chance that we will allow migrants to transfer to Bira. I and the citizens are against that. People who are here know that it is an obstacle to a normal life. You cannot live if 2,000 migrants are in a two-square-kilometer zone,” points out the mayor of Bihać, Šuhret Fazlić, Avaz writes.