Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic said Tuesday that Bosnia is preparing to repatriate Bosnian citizens who are affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria.
According to the Bosnian minister’s statement, Bosnia is preparing for the return of some 30 to 40 people, especially women and children, but he feared there would be some complications: “How will we verify the identity of 30 to 40 people when they arrive here?”
The Bosnian minister accused the Bosnian presidency of speeding up their arrival procedures without security coordination and “without consultations and coordination with the security services.”
The minister noted that those who left for Syria between 2012 and 2016 are the women and children of fighters from the Islamic State.
On Monday, the Bosnian presidency issued instructions and statements to its competent ministries to take an urgent, speedy and coordinated steps for the return of its Bosnian citizens from Syria.
Chairman of Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Denis Zvizdic told reporters in Sarajevo on Wednesday that BiH is ready to return the first group of BiH citizens from abroad.
“We are and will be ready for the first group, mostly and women and children, among whom there are many underage children,” Zvizdic said.
He added that it is the duty of BiH, as well as of other countries of the world, to take over their citizens “for which we have proof that they are BiH citizens.”
“We have facilities provided for the accommodation of women and children. As for the men, they will be treated in accordance with the current law, which prohibits or punishes going to foreign battlefields and participating in foreign military formations,” Zvizdic explained.
In that regard, he added, we will be ready for acceptance, but “the most serious task comes after that, which is a matter of some kind of deradicalization and socialization of persons returning from the battlefield to BiH”.