Bosnia Under Increasing Migrant Pressure, Is Croatia Next?

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 13, 2018 – Facilities of the Islamic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina are under increasing pressure from illegal migrants passing through the country on their way to Western Europe, Islamic community leaders warned on Tuesday, calling on the state authorities to address this problem and take their share of responsibility.

Their response came following reports that an increasing number of illegal migrants were seeking shelter in mosques, especially in the country’s northwest as they were trying to reach EU member Croatia and travel further west. They often show up in mosques in the evenings in search of assistance and a place to sleep, and local imams help them as much as they can.

“The Islamic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina is ready to help the state in providing for refugees, while at the same time it appeals to the state authorities to activate their action plans and coordinating bodies set up for situations like this,” it said in a statement circulated to the media.

The statement said that the government should ensure adequate accommodation for refugees and migrants in accordance with the standards of international legal protection of refugees. “Mosques cannot be the first and only solution for refugee accommodation, but the last resort,” the statement said.

The director of the border police service, Zoran Galić, has earlier confirmed that Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing an increasing influx of illegal migrants coming across the border with Serbia and Montenegro.

Slightly over 100 migrants were recorded in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016, compared to 754 in 2017 and as many as 458 at the start of 2018.

“We are seeing a rapid increase in their numbers,” Galić said, warning that the number of illegal migrants was likely to reach the total number for 2017 already by the end of February.


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