A reconstructed barracks near Sarajevo is expected to accommodate several hundreds of migrants in a few days. The space has been adjusted for both the families and singles.
The Usivak barracks in Hadzici settlement, in the vicinity of Sarajevo, will meet high standards; the heating, electricity, the Internet connection, three meals a day as well as the isolated area for the migrants with health issues.
“The migrants will have a medical care and the kitchen area, which will be operated by (humanitarian organisation) Pomozi.ba, but there will also be various social activities for the migrants throughout the day. Why did it take so long? Mostly because of the construction works, the inability to get the underground structure plan, so we had to do it all over again,” said Drazen Rozic, a project coordinator for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Bosnia.
The situation in the northwestern part of the country, the Una-Sana Canton, is incomparably worse. According to the municipal authorities, the number of migrants occupying the canton's area could reach 5,000 by end of the year.
Reportedly, around 100 migrants who enter Bosnia through its eastern borders are reaching this region on the opposite side of the country, hoping they would cross the borders with neighbouring Croatia and move on towards their final destinations in the European Union countries.
Suhret Fazlic, the mayor of the central Una-Sana town of Bihac expressed concern over the situation. He said he had addressed the foreign embassies in the country and warned that the safety of the local residents was in a jeopardy.
“Everyone was making fun of me then, saying it was unrealistic. (…) There is more and more of them here, and we're having burglaries more often and such,” the mayor said.
There is no accurate and specific information about the number of migrants currently staying in that town and the surrounding area. Humanitarian organisations deliver more than 900 meals every morning in an abandoned dormitory in Bihac, which the migrants occupied on their own initiative. The dormitory is currently being adapted for the winter conditions and it will accept only 550 persons, which is nowhere near the real number of migrants circulating in the area.