Bihac Mayor: Government must do something about the migrants

Source: N1

Should Bosnia’s Security Minister present a clear plan on how to tackle the issue of the mass influx of migrants into the northwestern town of Bihac during his announced visit there on Thursday, the town’s representatives will cancel a protest they had planned for Friday in the capital over the issue, Bihac Mayor, Suhret Fazlic, said.

“Minister (Dragan) Mektic has confirmed his visit (to Bihac) to me, which was based on a decision made by the Council of Ministers, and I hope that tomorrow he will present a clear programme for accomodating the migrants who are currently staying in our town, including deadlines and information on who will be tasked with it,” he said, adding that “should this happen, we will not protest in Sarajevo.”

Since the beginning of 2018, the number of migrants passing through Bosnia has drastically increased. The country became a significant transit point for the thousands of migrants after numerous surrounding countries closed their borders.

The migrants aim to reach EU countries through Bosnia and Croatia. Croatian border police, however, often turns them away from the border and back into Bosnia.

Bihac, a northwestern town located near Croatia’s border, is strongly affected by the situation, as thousands of migrants who attempt to cross the border there end up occupying public areas in the town.

Bosnia’s Government has been trying to tackle the issue, but locals are not satisfied. The town’s representatives and members of its City Council had announced they would protest in front of Bosnia’s Government building in Sarajevo on Friday, July 6.

“The security situation is disturbed, which is why our tourist season fell flat,” Fazlic said, adding that physical altercations between the migrants are becoming increasingly frequent.

“I cannot keep telling the citizens about how powerless I am,” he said.