Security Minister: Dodik is blocking all our proposals for curbing migrations

NEWS 11.11.2019 11:53
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Source: N1

There is a plan to curb illegal migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency is blocking anything the Security Ministry proposes, Minister Dragan Mektic said at a press conference on Monday.

Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik recently said that the Security Ministry and Council of Ministers lack any sort of plan to tackle the migrant crisis in the country.

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“We, at the Council of Ministers session, have a topic on the agenda concerning migrations. The Presidency has asked us several times to submit an operation plan, the Security Ministry has put one together, we submitted the plan containing concrete measures to the Presidency, but none of those measures passed,” Mektic said.

The minister named several issues Bosnia needs to resolve to tend to the migrant crisis more efficiently.

“We have a huge problem with a lack of manpower in the Border Police,” he said, explaining that another 500 police officers are required to secure the border.

Mektic said the Presidency did not approve increasing the budget for employing additional officers and that “not one Bosnian Mark went toward solving this problem.”

Bosnia also lacks the equipment which other countries in the region have for tackling the issue, he said.

Another measure the Security Ministry proposed is sending unarmed members of Bosnia’s army to the border who would answer to the Border Police and be focused only on curbing illegal migration, Mektic said.

“Dodik did not allow that,” the Minister said.

Dodik has been saying repeatedly that he will never allow for any army to be sent to the border between Bosnia and Serbia.

Another proposal was to put up wired fences at certain areas along the border and have police patrol more inaccessible areas.

“We requested for part of the police forces from other agencies to be deployed to the Border Police so they help us protect the border. Dodik said that no police force can come to Republika Srpska (Bosnia's Serb-majority region) except for members of the Republika Srpska Interior Ministry,” Mektic said.

Mektic said that Dodik's only goal is to “create a problem” and destabilise the situation, as he wants to work against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, has the funds and manpower to support Bosnia’s efforts in curbing the migrant crisis in Bosnia and could provide drones for it, but the Presidency has not yet signed an agreement with the agency because Dodik is preventing it, Mektic said.