US Ambassador: State should help local authorities deal with migrant crisis

Source: Kabinet gradonačelnika Bihaća

Bosnia’s government should get more engaged in helping the part of the country most affected by the migrant crisis solve the issue as the authorities and citizens there cannot do it by themselves, the US Ambassador said as he visited the north-western Una-Sana Canton (USK) on Friday.

“I came here to see what the situation is like regarding the migrant crisis in Bihac and USK first-hand. I heard a lot from the Mayor and Prime Minister (of USK) on how citizens reacted to the arrival of migrants and how much it has affected this part of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Ambassador Eric Nelson said.


“However, neither the citizens nor the governments in Bihac and the USK can handle this situation by themselves. The international community is helping, but most importantly, there needs to be a strategy by the state institutions for this problem,” he said.

Nelson met with, among others, Suhret Fazlic, the mayor of Bihac, one of the most affected towns.

“We had and still have the support of the US government through the Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and today I asked Ambassador Nelson to use his authority and position to do all he can to stop the burden of the migrant crisis in Bihac which is already for a year the victim of the incompetence state institutions,” Fazlic said.

Nelson said he expects international institutions in the country to try to make state institutions to do their job.

“It is very clear that the town and canton governments are focused on solving this problem with the resources they have and with the support of international organisations, and what is needed now is state institutions to secure resources required by police and other services that need to tend to this issue,” Nelson added,” according to the Bihac mayor’s office.