Migrants: Bosnia, entrance ban imposed in northwest

Pushed-back refugees helped by Red Cross. Residents protest

25 August, 15:13

    BELGRADE - Local authorities in the Una-Sana Canton in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the country's northwest at the border with Croatia, have imposed an entrance ban on illegal migrants.

    The migrants have been arriving in increasing numbers in the area, travelling the Balkan Route with the goal of passing into Croatia and continuing towards Western Europe.

    The Una-Sana Canton is part of the Muslim-Croat Federation, one of the two entities that make up Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Authorities in the Republika Srpska, the other entity in the country, also do not allow migrants to enter their territory.

    Therefore, regional media said, the most recent migrants who arrived, about 100, have been relegated to a sort of no man's land between the two Bosnian entities.

    The Red Cross intervened by distributing food and water.

    The situation is feeding growing tension in the Balkan country, which has seen the number of migrants steadily grow in recent months while having limited resources to deal with the problem.

    According to various estimates, the number of migrants in northwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina, in particular in Bihac and Velika Kladusa, ranges between 7,000 and 10,000, and their presence is provoking concern in the local population.

    Local residents have been more frequently organising protests to denounce risks and threats to their safety.

    Cases have been growing of thefts and aggression by groups of migrants loitering in the area in their constant search for ways to cross the border with Croatia.

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