Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina expect that migrants who are currently in Serbia will try to reach Croatia over Bosnian territory.
In the spring, thousands of migrants and refugees who are currently blocked on the territory of Serbia will probably try to find new routes in order to reach member states of the European Union. Many of them will try to do this by passing through the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and then entering Croatia, said on Friday the director of the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Slobodan Ujić, reports Index.hr on March 3, 2017.
“We have certain operational information that there are several thousand people in Serbia who have the intention of finding their way to the European Union. This has been going on for months. Hungary has closed its borders, Croatia has also closed its border with Serbia, so some of the migrants are trying to go through Romania in order to enter the European Union, and that is a new route. The second group of migrants, those who are much closer and are currently located in Šid in Serbia, is trying in every possible way to go through Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to reach the European Union. Therefore, according to our information, larger groups of people could start entering Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Ujić said.
In addition to the route via Šid, which would lead migrants through north-western part of Bosnia, there is a possibility that the migrant route to the EU could go through Podgorica in Montenegro and Trebinje, Mostar and Široki Brijeg in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which means that they would enter Croatia around the area around Imotski.
Although there have been new cases of illegal entry to Bosnia by migrants from Serbia since the beginning of the year, the figures so far do not indicate an alarming situation, but Ujić believes that it could change quickly with the improvement of weather conditions in the spring.
Since the beginning of the year, members of the Bosnian border police have apprehended about two dozen migrants who had illegally entered the country from Serbia. They are now accommodated in an asylum centre near Sarajevo and are currently undergoing the process of identification in order to be returned to Serbia on the basis of the readmission agreement. Ujić added that there had been no problems with the implementation of this agreement so far and that the Serbian police had been regularly accepting the migrants.