Bosnia's new Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic will step up monitoring on the border with Serbia and Montenegro to stop the influx of illegal migrants from those countries and coordinate activities with ministers of the interior in the region, the Security Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement was issued after a meeting of the operational group in charge of illegal migrations.
Announcing the new approach to dealing with illegal migrations in the country, Radoncic said that his ministry could not be the only institution in the country in charge of care for migrants and that all institutions and government agencies should become involved.
Radoncic told the heads of local police agencies who are members of the operational group that he would put emphasis on more efficient border control and prevention of illegal arrivals of migrants as well as on strengthening the capacity of the border police and office for aliens, adding that he would also hold talks with the neighbouring countries’ ministers of the interior on ways to deal with the problem together.
Due to the winter conditions, the number of illegal migrants arriving in Bosnia and Herzegovina has decreased and currently around 5,500 illegal migrants are staying in reception centres in the country.
The measures announced by Radoncic were advocated also by former Security Minister Dragan Mektic but he never received the support of the state leadership for them.
The Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, resolutely opposed proposals that soldiers be deployed along Bosnia and Herzegovina's eastern border to help police prevent illegal entries, and the state-level leadership has to date not approved the filling of more than 500 vacant police posts.
At the same time, the Bosnian Serb entity authorities are not allowing the opening of reception centres in their territory to relieve the pressure of migrants on the area of Bihac, and officials in almost all communities in the other entity, the Federation, have acted similarly.