If Austria and Slovenia close their borders to migrants, Bosnia will respond by sending additional forces to its eastern border, thus closing its borders with Serbia and Montenegro, said Slobodan Ujic, Director of Foreigners’ Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By the end of 2017, the Foreigners’ Service processed some 6,200 migrants who entered Bosnia, of which more than 5.600 requested international protection.
He explained that the Bosnian authorities had received information from Austria of its intention to completely shut down the border to migrants and of announcements that Slovenia and Croatia were going to do the same.
Ujic said migrants from high risk countries are illegally crossing the border from the direction of Serbia and Montenegro using Bosnia as a transit route on their way to western Europe.
“These are mixed migrations where only 20 percent are refugees. The rest of them are economic migrants among which are countless families coming from 45 different countries,” he added.
Considering the number of migrants who entered the country in the past several months, Ujic said that Bosnia is facing a humanitarian and security aspect of migrations, pointing to the evident lack of accomodation capacities.
He recalled the project for prevention of illegal migrants in Bosnia which lasted 2013 – 2017, when the Foreigners’ Service returned over 1,000 migrants to countries of origin, which is a significant number considering these were persons whose identity has not been determined.
The Foreigners’ Service will make the Usivak barracks in Hadzici, near Sarajevo, available for accommodation of migrants as soon as possible, thus solving the issue of migrants in the Sarajevo Canton.