After hundreds of refugees failed to find permanent shelter in the interior of the country, the Bosnian army has started tents at the slum Camp Lipa in the northwest of the country. People must now remain in the camp, which has actually been cleaned and partially burned, 25 kilometers southeast of the city of Bihak, the news portal “klix.ba” reported on Friday.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) closed the camp a week and a half ago because Bosnian authorities had not kept their promises to make it winter-proof. Refugees and migrants should have been brought to a former army barrack near Sarajevo. However, opposition from local politicians and citizens prevented the buses from carrying migrants.
Earlier, some youths set fire to tents and containers after the camp was empty. Since then, migrants have had to stay outside in wintry weather conditions. Support organizations provide them with food in an inaccessible area.
The idea supported by the European Union Commission to reopen the Beira camp in the local area of Bihac also failed due to resistance from local politicians. The migrants were placed there before being brought to Lipa in September last year due to popular opposition. The EU countries are very attractive to refugees and migrants due to their proximity to the cantons of Croatia, Bihac and Una-Sanaa.
Austria helps with money
According to the Croatian news agency HINA, Bosnian security officials estimate that up to 8,000 expatriates are in the country, of which 3,000 are in open-air or abandoned facilities in the northwestern canton of Una-Sanaa.
Austria wants to provide one million euros for the care of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday. According to Hina, Italy donated 500,000 euros.
In Bosnia, the mood swings between the population turned against migrants as the Balkans became a transition zone on the so-called Balkan route. Migrants do not want to live in Bosnia, but thousands of them are trapped there because they are not yet able to cross the “green” border in Croatia.