RS requests closing of Bosnia's borders to migrants

NEWS 13.05.2018 18:02
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Source: N1

Securing the increased police presence, absolute control of borders and closing the borders to migrants are some of the conclusions that the Government of Republika Srpska (RS), one of the two Bosnia’s semi-autonomous entities, passed on Sunday.

RS Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic told a press conference that she expressed dissatisfaction over the way the Bosnia’s state-level institutions were treating the issue of migrants, whose number dramatically increased in Bosnia over the past few months.

Bosnia’s Border Police earlier reported that more than 1,200 migrants were discovered in the attempt of or after entering Bosnia. Out of this number, some 400 illegal migrants were registered only in April, three times more than in January 2018.

Cvijanovic pointed at huge risks in terms of security and healthcare.

“We have heard in the meantime the statements by various representatives of Bosnia’s institutions about being “well-prepared” but also the concerning ones about “inability to establish control”,” the PM said, warning that many migrants who found shelter in Bosnia had no identification documents, which could cause risks in terms of security and healthcare.

The migrants, coming mostly from the Middle East, are seeking a temporary shelter in Bosnia on the way to their, as they say, final destinations in western Europe. Besides the lack of border police officers who would be controlling the state border, which the Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic and the Border Police Director Zoran Galic have already warned about, the country also lacks the capacities to accommodate the migrants during the regular asylum seeking procedure.

Presenting the RS Government’s conclusions from Sunday, Cvijanovic said that the Government would not accept any decision on this matter that Bosnia’s Council of Ministers might pass on its own. Also, the Government asked for new talks on asylum policy.

RS President Milorad Dodik, who attended the session, said he supported the Government’s conclusions, adding that these measures “are not aimed at protection of the RS only but the whole Bosnia’s territory.”

“The ones who triggered this crisis should bear the biggest responsibility. That is the western alliance which created problems in the Middle East, primarily in Syria,” added Dodik.

“We want to protect our way of living. We don’t want changes in the future structure of the population,” he stressed, adding that “the West should solve this issue.”

Bosnia's Council of Ministers scheduled a session for Monday, which would tackle the issue of migrants in the country.