Bosnia struggles to cope with migrant influx

The impoverished Balkan country has seen a sharp rise in the number of arrivals, particularly young men hoping to cross over into the European Union via neighbouring Croatia.

Bosnia struggles to cope with migrant influx

World Bulletin / News Desk

Bosnia, one of Europe's poorest countries, is so ill-equipped to cope with a surging influx of refugees that aid workers here fear the tiny nation could be on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

But with next to no cash, decrepit infrastructure and fragile institutions that are divided along ethnic lines, Bosnia is in no position to cope with the numbers. 

And aid workers say they are already at breaking point.

"It's exhausting. We will do our best, but we have our limits," said Red Cross official Selam Midzic, who reckons he sees around a hundred migrants arriving here every day on buses from Sarajevo.

According to Bosnia's Minister for Security, Dragan Mektic, 5,100 illegal entries were registered in 2018. And an additional 3,300 people have been "turned back at the border" with Serbia and Montenegro.

Mektic has asked the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) for one million euros ($1.2 million) to handle the crisis.

But one aid worker, who asked not to be named, said the EU cash could come too late to avoid a humanitarian crisis. 

Red Cross official Midzic agreed.

"The state simply cannot wait any longer to get involved" and handle the situation "in an organised way," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Haziran 2018, 10:35