Over 25 530 detected refugees, asylum seekers and migrants have passed through Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of January 2018. An estimated 5 400 are still in-country with over 4 700 assisted by international organisations, mostly in Una-Sana Canton, the north-western part of the country.
The European Commission’s partners continue providing health, protection, winterized shelter, water and sanitation, food and non-food items in centres of Bira, Borici, Sedra and Miral in the Una-Sana Canton and in Usivak near Sarajevo.
Following the increase of security-related incidents and tensions inside the sites mainly due to overcrowding, poor quality services and lack of safety, humanitarian partner organizations will start to relocate vulnerable groups to safer locations.
It is further stated that the greatest number of migrants arrived from Pakistan (7,770), Iran (3,663), Syria (3,017), Afghanistan (2,780) and Iraq (2,184).
Other more represented groups of migrants originate from Libya (879), Palestine (752), Algeria (477), Bangladesh (452) and India (416).
Last year, there was a continuous increase in the number of migrants in BiH, all until October 2018, after which there was a decline in the influx.
“The new wave” of migrants should start on the Balkan route in the spring, was highlighted at the session of the Operational Group for Coordination of Action and Monitoring of the Migrant Crisis in the Una-Sana Canton.
At the meeting of the Operational Group for Coordination, a decision was made to start the activities towards the development of the Security Situation Management Strategy.
“Security assessments say that a new migrant wave will emerge in the spring of the so-called Balkan route. We need to be prepared for this situation and we must not allow a chaotic situation to be created, as it was the case last year,” the Prime Minister of USC Mustafa Ruznic and Minister of Interior of USK Nermin Kljajic agreed.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through the so-called “Balkan route” in 2015, trying to reach Western Europe. BiH was then not part of that route. The increasing number of migrants was recorded from the end of 2017, and since January this year, over 23,500 migrants and refugees arrived through Serbia and Montenegro, compared to a mere 755 in 2017.