Refugees stuck in winter shelters at EU border in Bosnia

Published on January 19, 2021 by

European lawmakers are set to discuss the fate of migrants stranded along the EU’s external borders. The situation is especially acute in Bosnia, where thousands of mostly Middle Eastern migrants remain in limbo. Bosnia is not an EU member, but it borders Croatia, which is part of the union. Human rights groups say migrants have frequently reported rough encounters with Croatian police, including beatings and being forcefully sent back into Bosnia. Croatian authorities deny the allegations. Currently nearly 9,000 migrants are estimated to be in Bosnia. Many are from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Syria. The UN’s migration agency says more than a third are living without any shelter. Many were left homeless when a camp in Lipa was evacuated in December, after Bosnian authorities failed to prepare the camp for winter. The empty camp was later set on fire. The Bosnian army has set up new tents, but NGOs say more permanent shelter is sorely needed.

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