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Large Fire broke out in Lipa Migrant Camp near Bihac

A large fire broke out today in the Lipa migrant camp near Bihac. It is not yet known how the fire broke out near the place where the oil and generators used for electricity are located. Police and firefighters are on the scene, Radio Sarajevo writes.

“It is still unknown whether there are any injured,” the Una Sana Canton Ministry of Interior said.

To recall, the International Organization for Migrations announced the closure of this migrant camp for today, which means that more than 1,200 migrants will remain on the streets.

IOM chief Peter Van Der Auweraert also came to this camp today.

Two days ago, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed the Decision on the establishment of a temporary reception center for the accommodation of migrants “Lipa” in the area of ​​Bihac, which will be a prefabricated container-type facility with a capacity of 1,500 people. 

The Ministry of Security is in charge of resolving legal issues with the City of Bihac regarding the use of the “Lipa” location by the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs for the establishment of a temporary reception center for the accommodation of migrants, Klix.ba writes.

Also, the Ministry is in charge of defining and signing a memorandum of cooperation in cooperation with the City of Bihac, the Government of Una-Sana Canton (USC), the Service for Foreigners, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other relevant institutions, agencies and organizations. regulate the ways of cooperation and mutual assistance with the aim of establishing the center “Lipa”. 

Funds provided through donations will be used to establish a temporary reception center for the accommodation of migrants at the “Lipa” location. 

This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its adoption and shall be published in the “Official Gazette of BiH”. 

Tent camp “Lipa”, with a capacity of 1,000 people, was opened on April 21, 2020, and is intended for the accommodation of men. On December 1, 2020, 1,272 people stayed in the camp.

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.

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