Authorities in the northwestern Una Sana Canton (USK) have decided to deport six illegal migrants who they say have been convicted of crimes recently and who have been posing a danger to the security in the area, the Security Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Among the six are nationals of Iraq, Libya, Morocco and Russia and they have committed several crimes, including robbery, theft, and attacking officers on duty.
After the relevant Foreigner’s Affairs Service made the ruling, the six were taken to the Immigration Centre in Eastern Sarajevo where they will be monitored until they are deported.
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.
The northwestern cities of Bihac, Cazin and Velika Kladusa are located in USK and near Croatia’s border and are strongly affected by the situation.
Accompanied by police, representatives of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Service for Foreigner’s Affairs informed the large number of migrants who found shelter in the yet unfinished building of the town’s home for senior citizens that they need to move out, as the building does not even have the minimum of conditions for accommodating them.
After this, 250 migrants left the premises on their own and moved to a nearby student home, where the relevant bodies provided them with food and other basics.
There are currently around 950 migrants staying in the Bihac student’s Home and in tents around it. Authorities made the decision to move them to the location so they can have better control over them.
“Conditions here are not ideal either. However, I expect that we will, throughout the day, try to take care of them at least to some degree – to accommodate them, give them basic necessities, and everything they need to spend the night here,” said the Secretary of the local Red Cross, Selam Midzic.
Several of the migrants who spoke to N1 said they do not want to stay in Bosnia, and that their goal is to reach Italy.
According to USK Interior Ministry data, there are currently some 4,500 migrants on USK territory, with 3,000 of them in Bihac and the rest in Velika Kladusa. USK Interior Ministry spokesperson Snezana Galic said there have been 19 criminal acts committed by migrants that were registered up until now.
The USK Government proposed the establishment of a migrant centre in Bosanski Petrovac, but the authorities in that municipality opposed it.
The Mayor of Bihac, Suhret Fazlic, announced that a protest over the state’s handling of the migrant issue will take place in Sarajevo next week.
The state would like to resolve the issue, but the EU will not finance the construction of any migrant centres near its border. Bosnia’s Security Minister, Dragan Mektic, has recently called out the EU over this problem, blaming the Union for the migrant crisis in Bosnia and saying they need to solve it.