The mayor of the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac, Suhret Fazlic, warned on Tuesday that the migrant crisis in Una-Sana Canton had taken on such dimensions that local authorities could no longer handle it and announced that radical measures would probably have to be undertaken, such as closing migrant camps in the area.
Addressing a press conference which he held in Sarajevo in an effort to draw more attention to the migrant crisis in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fazlic said that there were more than 6,000 migrants in that area at the moment and that there was no more room for them.
He announced that as of next Monday the authorities in Bihac would stop providing migrants with assistance and would "allow the migrant crisis to escalate" if the state and the Federation entity did not provide financial assistance. He also threatened that together with other Bihac residents he would set up an open migrant camp in Sarajevo.
"We've had enough. This can't go on any longer... Security Minister Dragan Mektic is persistently downplaying this problem with lies that there are relatively few migrants in the Bihac area. I can say that there are currently more than 6,000 migrants in that area," Fazlic said.
"Not one conclusion from Brussels, not one recommendation by the former EU special representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina (Lars-Gunnar Wigemark) has been implemented... we have asked for financial assistance but have not received a single mark," he said.
He confirmed that Bihac has until now allocated about €50,000 to accommodate the migrants in the Vucjak migrant centre, which the EU has said has to be closed down due to its close proximity to the Croatian border, yet despite that the town has been under unbearable pressure of the migrant crisis for a full two years and is faced with serious utility and security problems.
Fazlic once again accused Croatia of pushing back migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina or rather to Bihac. He added that Croatia had recently pushed back a group of migrants who had entered Croatia at the Bajakovo border crossing on the border with Serbia in eastern Croatia.