There is no other solution to the migrant crisis in Bosnia's Una-Sana Canton (USK) than relocating migrants from the existing migrant centres of Vucjak, Bira and Miral to a new location of Medeno polje, in the north-west of the country, the cantonal operative group for migrants concluded Monday.
“We suggested this location back in 2017, but our partners from the Council of Ministers (Bosnia's government) failed to support us. To this day, we were unable to find a better location for their accommodation,” USK Interior Minister Nermin Kljajic said.
USK Prime Minister Mustafa Ruznic confirmed this information and said that the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) and the UNHCR will not be able to extend lease contracts with the owners of Bira and Miral migrant reception centres without the approval of the cantonal government.
“Migrants from the area of Vucjak village must be urgently relocated away from residential areas into the existing centres outside of the USK, such as Salakovac, Delijas and Usivak,” the Prime Minister noted.
He also asked the Federation (FBiH) entity government to suspend the train line from Sarajevo to Bihac which is most often used by migrants to get from Sarajevo to Bihac, arguing that FBiH Railways should not transport them as they are illegal aliens and should not have access to such services.
The USK Civil Protection Service said they will continue to finance the water supply and waste disposal from the controversial Vucjak settlement until the new year's eve, which should postpone the humanitarian and health catastrophe in this temporary migrant centre.
The canton's Interior Ministry estimated that between 6,000 and 7,000 migrants are currently residing in this northern Bosnian canton.
The USK and the towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa were hit the hardest with the migrant crisis affecting Bosnia after Hungary and Bulgaria raised hard borders, preventing them from coming into their countries on their way to western Europe, thus effectively cutting the “Balkan route.”
Not, the migrants are entering Serbia and from there crossing into Bosnia, in an attempt to enter the EU via the Bosnian-Croatian border.
After the EU and Croatia invested heavily in Croatia's border police, the migrants found themselves stuck in Bosnia. Bosnian authorities now fear the EU measures will make the country into a permanent migrant hotspot.