The summer months could bring a new wave of migrants to Bosnia after the country already recorded a drastic increase in arrivals in 2018, according to Minister of Human Rights and Refugees, Semiha Borovac.
Bosnia’s Government is on Tuesday discussing the migrant situation and the possibility of a new wave of migrants who are heading toward Western Europe.
Meetings on the issue have been frequent recently, and an Operational Headquarters was formed to tackle the problem.
Bosnian authorities are trying to secure a safe passage of migrants through the country as well as a human treatment, Borovac said.
A few weeks ago, state institutions organised the transport of a number of migrants who had set up camp in Sarajevo to a refugee centre in Salakovac, near the city of Mostar.
“We regularly have meetings via the Operational Headquarters with international and domestic organisations, and the accommodation of these people in Salakovac shows the true intent of the migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” she said.
Of the 269 of them who were accommodated, and the total of 400 who spent time in the Salakovac refugee centre, there are about 145 or 150 left, Borovac said.
“Those are the ones we counted on, families with children, there is about 40 children there. A lot of them are without parents so they truly need protection and they are being kept together and until they are secure they don’t leave the camp,” she said.
The migrants are obliged to state their intentions so that Bosnia can react according to the relevant asylum laws.
“We are obliged, and we strive toward it, to register all those who cross through Bosnia and Herzegovina and to have their exact data. Migrants are not only a problem of Bosnia, but also that of the EU, and we expect to receive instructions on how to behave,” she said.
The flow of migrants through the country has been “significantly reduced” thanks to the increased activities or the relevant institutions recently, she said.
The condition for Bosnia to receive EU support in tackling the issue was the adoption of an action plan, which Bosnia has done.
“The EU will stand behind the help package for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we expect the EU to act toward us the way they act toward other countries in the region. We can’t endure the migrant pressure ourselves, as we don’t have the planned resources for this,” she said.
“Especially the new announced wave. Unofficially, there is information saying that another migrant wave could come in during the summer period,” she added.