Maljevac border crossing unblocks, migrants leaving the area

Maljevac border crossing unblocks, migrants leaving the area

Maljevac border crossing unblocks, migrants leaving the area Izvor: Anadolija (AA)

Three migrants and three police officers were injured in a clash that took place on Wednesday at the northwestern border crossing with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Border Police confirmed.

The situation at the Bosnia-Croatia border crossing was peaceful over the last night and the number of migrants who decided to spend yet another night in open near the border crossing has significantly decreased this morning, Bosnia Border Police Spokesperson, Sanela Dujkovic, confirmed.

“The border crossing has been unblocked and we are expecting the Croatian Interior Ministry will open it for traffic in the upcoming hours. The Border Police officers are trying to negotiate and solve the situation, without using the force and while respecting the humanitarian law. The migrants will never cross to the Croatian territory in this way,” Dujkovic underlined.

Hundreds of migrants have been protesting for past few days at this border crossing in the northwest of Bosnia, demanding that the border is open for them to cross freely and continue their journey to the western Europe countries. The situation culminated on Wednesday when migrants broke through one cordon of the police in an attempt to reach the Croatian territory, which led to the border crossing point temporary shutdown. 

Although the situation has calmed down, Dujkovic said the use of the police measures at this border crossing point has not been ruled out.

“We hope for the best solution because we truly care about these people. Although the number of them coming here has halved, there is still a number of women and children who have been here for the past two nights,” Dujkovic said, adding that the Border Police and other law enforcement agencies will hold another meeting on Thursday in Velika Kladusa, to discuss the current developments.

The northwestern part of the country, which borders Croatia, has become a sort of a hub for migrants who are on the way to their final destinations in the western Europe. The local authorities have been struggling with a constant influx of migrants, demanding from the state-level institutions to find a solution to their accommodation as they were on their own initiative occupying public areas such as parks and abandoned buildings.

Following a meeting of Bosnia's Security Minister and local authorities in the Una-Sana Canton earlier this week, the police were tasked to ban the entry to all migrants who use the regular bus and train lines from the Bosnia's capital of Sarajevo to this region.

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