According to humanitarian organizations, due to snow covering the mountains in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, hundreds of migrants were sleeping in the open air or in abandoned buildings this month, where the temperature is low.
Due to lack of heating or barefoot queuing for food, some people living in the destroyed immigration camps had to resort to themselves in the snow. Many people suffer from sc sores and high fever.
The mayor of Bihać, 15 miles north of the camp, refused to reopen housing facilities for EU-funded immigrants. The facility ran for nearly two years until it was closed in the fall. Now, as night temperatures drop below 1
“This is an uninhabitable place. Nicola Bay, National Director of the Danish Refugee Council, said that the organization did not even meet basic humanitarian standards here. The committee provided winter clothes and medical assistance to immigrants.
The extreme cold is only the latest suffering in a legendary event that has occurred over the years. Last month, there was a dark turn when humanitarian organizations had to dismantle the Lipa camp after being deemed unsafe. When the migrants evacuated, a fire destroyed most of the tents there, forcing them to take refuge in the Hulks in the destroyed refugee camp or in abandoned buildings and the surrounding icy woods.
The European Union said this month that more than 1,700 people were sleeping outside under harsh conditions.
On New Year’s Eve, the Bosnian authorities vowed to “very quickly” resettle the stranded migrants to houses near Bihac. However, the facility has been closed for two weeks in 2021, and the Bosnian government minister has admitted that it may remain closed.
Bosnia has been increasingly criticized by the European Union and other countries for failing to provide basic humanitarian assistance to immigrants in accordance with international law.
European Crisis Management Commissioner Janet Lenarcic said earlier this month: “Thousands of people, including children, sleep outside in the cold temperatures of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” “If the authorities build enough shelters in the country, including the use of existing facilities, this humanitarian disaster can be avoided.”
Since Bosnia became the route for thousands of people hoping to reach Europe in 2018, the European Union has provided 89 million euros (108 million U.S. dollars) to the authorities or organizations working in the country as a way to reduce population influx Part of a larger strategy. Migrants on its external borders. (Bosnia is not part of the European Union, but borders Croatia.)
However, according to a report by the United Nations agency International Organization for Migration, the coronavirus pandemic has almost completely stopped the flow of immigrants along the so-called Western Balkan route, with more than 8,000 immigrants stranded in Bosnia. Although 6,000 of them are in housing centers, there are still nearly 2,000 people in a precarious state across the country.
Last year, 17,000 migrants were recorded to flow through Bosnia, down from 29,000 in 2019. But human rights groups say that the crisis has become more serious this winter because the authorities have failed to accommodate the country.
Immigrants in northwestern Bosnia face growing hatred from local residents.
In October, regional authorities, which have been complaining about the European Union’s immigration problems for many years, expelled more than 400 migrants from the closed houses in Bihac and have been closed since. More than 80 minors were placed in other housing centers, but more than 300 men did not have shelters.
Most of them moved to the Lipa camp, which was established in April as a temporary response to the Covid-19 pandemic and can accommodate 1,600 people. The camp has never been insulated or equipped with heating furnaces. The organization said that they told the authorities that this could only be a temporary solution.
Then last month, it was destroyed and destroyed by fire.
Mr. Bei of the Danish Refugee Council said that on a dirt road in the former Lipa camp, the Bosnian army had built about 20 heated tents this week, half of which had holes blown by ice and wind. Despite this, hundreds of migrants are still placed in tents managed by the Red Cross.
About 1,500 other immigrants lived in the ruins of the former refugee camp burned down last month or in abandoned buildings nearby without electricity and running water.
“On the one hand, the central government is trying to reopen Bihac’s land to accommodate immigrants. On the other hand, local authorities and residents refuse to let them in,” said Peter Van der Overrat of the Western Balkans. Auweraert) said. Coordinator of the International Organization for Migration. “Immigrants are trapped in it.”
The Minister of Security of Bosnia, Selmo Cikotic, admitted that the situation is unsustainable and that immigration is a victim of political chaos in Bosnia.
According to the Constitution of Bosnia, both the central government and local administrative agencies (called states) are responsible for the enforcement of human rights. However, regulating the use of local land is the responsibility of the regional authorities, which also control the police force.
Hikotic said in a telephone interview: “From some aspects of the Bosnian political system, we lack solidarity, lack European and universal values, and we claim to be close to this value.” He talked about the Lipa refugee camp. In the Una-Sana area where Bihac is located, he said: “We have no effective mechanism to resolve the resistance of the state authorities.”
Šicotic met with European ambassadors and EU representatives at the Lipa camp on Thursday. He ruled out the possibility of using force to open housing facilities in Bihac.
This angered humanitarian organizations.
Mr. Pei from the Danish Refugee Council said: “Every year, we encounter this winter crisis and make an emergency response at the last minute.” He added: “But this year we don’t do this. You will see how fragile the situation is. “
“They are asking,’When will I go to the tent?’ He said of immigration. “They don’t know what is happening to them. “
On the Croatian side, the police tried to block the route from Bosnia, and humanitarian organizations reported countless abuses by law enforcement officials.
Aleksandar Panic, the disaster preparedness coordinator of the Bosnian Red Cross, said that some immigrants gave up hope of reaching the European Union through Croatia and returned to Serbia on the eastern border of Bosnia, hoping to use this as a reason. The European Union passes Romania.
“At the same time, Sarajevo’s camp is full,” Panic said. “The weather forecast around Lipa camp is not good for us.” “We don’t know if we can heat the tents enough.”