Since the start of this year until mid-August, Bosnian police have prevented more than 7,000 illegal migrants from entering the country, Bosnia and Herzegovina's border police chief Zoran Galic said on Monday as carried by the Banja Luka-based Nezavisne Novine daily.
However, despite all their efforts, a lot of migrants have managed to cross the border, which is the result of the chronic shortage of police personnel to control the border, Galic said.
Precise data indicates that by 12 August, 7,650 illegal migrants were prevented from entering the country however thousands have managed to do so.
"The majority of illegal migrants come from Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan," Galic said. Continuous pressure exists from the direction of Serbia and Montenegro toward the eastern and northeastern sections of Bosnia and Herzegovina's border. At the same time the situation is quite complex on the border leading out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly in the Krajina region, added Galic.
He assessed that a cooperation agreement between border police in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia was being implemented well. He also added that no incidents had been recorded on the border between the two countries when 18 injured migrants were recently discovered, who claimed that Croatian police had used force to push them back into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Galic said that the problems within Bosnia and Herzegovina could be resolved with existing material and technical capacities and personnel and that the country's border police required urgent financial support to procure sophisticated special equipment and in personnel from other police units in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He explained that the border police is short of 375 officers for regular tasks, however, in order to efficiently protect the borders with Serbia and Montenegro, which stretch for 600 kilometres, it needs at least an additional 1,000 police officers.