Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity will not change its earlier position that no migrant camp will be built on its territory, BiH Serb Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik told EU's Foreign and Security Policy High Representative, Srna news agency reported Tuesday.
“We spoke about the migrant issue at Borell's request and he was interested why the former Bira factory in Bihac wasn't prepared for their accommodation. I said that neither the BiH Presidency nor the RS are in charge of that because Bira is in the Federation (FBiH) entity which should deal with that issue. The BiH migrant crisis is on the edge of becoming a humanitarian disaster and those responsible should deal with it,” Dodik said, adding that he agreed to meet with the Bihac Mayor Suhret Fazlic.
He pointed out that the EU did provide funds for the accommodation of migrants via various independent organisations and not via BiH, RS or FBiH institutions, adding that there are indications of misuse of those funds which is why they do not count as an aid to BiH.
“Borell asked, probably under Sarajevo's influence, that migrants be distributed across the entire territory of BiH, regardless of the RS’ clear position. I told him that the RS has the right to its position regarding the migrant crisis and that it would not change, meaning there will be no migrant centres on the territory of the RS,” Dodik said.
He noted that the RS does not want any funds for the accommodation of migrants, nor will they accommodate them. According to him, it is very important that the RS remains firm in its decision because only in that way will they achieve any results.
“The EU encouraged millions of people to go towards it and then they placed a wire on their border, which only speaks of their relation towards the migrants who are their exclusive problem – not ours. BiH didn't remain passive towards migrants, but the main migrant problem isn't BiH but the EU and they should take full responsibility for it,” Dodik pointed out.
EU's Borelj called on the BiH authorities to work on sustainable solutions for migrants, primarily on opening reception centres more evenly distributed throughout the country.