Bosnia-Herzegovina: Migrants back in a burned-out camp

After the fire in the Bosnian refugee camp Lipa, the migrants returned to the burned-out camp. Before that, they had to spend the night on buses because local residents prevented them from moving to a barracks.

Hundreds of refugees have returned to the burned-out Lipa refugee camp after waiting overnight in buses to be transported to replacement accommodation inland.

The 500 or so refugees were actually supposed to be brought to a barracks in Konjic, 45 kilometers southwest of Sarajevo, after the fire. After protests by politicians and residents of the community, the departure of the migrants was stopped. The refugees stayed in the buses for around 24 hours before they had to get out again in the afternoon and return to the empty camp.

Camp Lipa burned down a week ago and was cleared by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). At first, no substitute was offered. Many refugees and migrants had been left without shelter in the inhospitable area 25 kilometers southeast of Bihac.

Migrants are stuck in Bosnia

The Grand Mufti of the Islamic Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hussein Kavazovic, called for better treatment of the migrants. The situation is shameful for the country and the rest of Europe. “We don’t treat needy people that way,” he said.

In Bosnia, the mood among the population has turned against the migrants since the Balkans became a transit area on the so-called Balkan route. The migrants do not want to stay in Bosnia. Thousands of them are stuck there because they have not yet managed to cross the “green” border into the neighboring EU country of Croatia.


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