EU appeal to Bosnia: Still no solution for Lipa migrants

What will happen to the migrants in Lipa, Bosnia, from now on? The EU is pushing for people who endure in snow and cold to find shelter quickly. But the mood in Bosnia-Herzegovina is heated.

After the fire in a camp for refugees and migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the EU Commission appealed to the local authorities to provide people with living space. “It is clear that the practical and immediate solution is to reopen the reception center in Bira,” said Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson. There, on the outskirts of Bihac, there is heating, electricity, running water and space for 1,500 people.

The EU has already given financial support and promised more. Johansson emphasized that this could alleviate the plight of people stranded in the snow. “We call on the national and local authorities in Bosnia to work together to give these people the shelter they deserve.”

Residents prevented alternative accommodation

The situation of migrants is very difficult. The last attempt by the authorities to find new accommodation failed due to protests from local residents. Buses should have brought the refugees to a former barracks in the south of the country on Tuesday, but local residents protested.

After spending a day and night on the buses, the migrants were taken back to the burned down camp near Lipa Municipality. The camp had previously been cleared by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) because the Bosnian authorities had not made it winter-proof.

Since the fire, more than 1000 refugees and migrants have endured in freezing temperatures in the open air. Most of them are men traveling alone who cannot be offered a place in the overcrowded other camps.

The Tagesschau reported on this topic on December 31, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

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