Two migrants were shot dead on a road in Serbia near the village of Dobrinci, around 45 km (28 miles) northwest of the capital Belgrade, police said on Wednesday, giving no details of their deaths or identity. Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through the so-called ‘Balkan route’ from the Middle East, Africa and Asia passed on their way to the West in 2015 but it was shut in 2016 when Turkey agreed to stem the flow of people in return for EU aid and a promise of visa-free travel for its own citizens.
It was almost lunchtime at a dormitory on the outskirts of Bihac in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina and an Afghan woman sheltered from the rain in a tent before joining the queue for food. The dormitory was unfinished. Its windows had no glass, the water pipes leaked and there were holes in the upper floors. The stench of smoke and urine hung in the air. “This is not a camp, and that is not food,” said the woman, who did not give her name.
The camp outside of the city of Velika Kladusa in Bosnia and Herzegovina is growing every day. Its inhabitants: men, women, and children taking the new Balkan route as refugees in search of safety and security in Europe. Here their lodgings consist of improvised tents at best, but more often than not, the only “roof” over their heads is a thin plastic tarp supported by sticks. When it rains, the camp gets particularly bad: wet tents and mud everywhere. “This is not a refugee camp,” Kasim from Pakistan said. “It was good in Serbia. We had food and received clothing and good tents there. Here, we have nothing.”
Die Flüchtlingszahlen auf der neuen Balkanroute steigen, Ungarn bietet schon Gratisgrenzzäune an. Ein Schleuser aus Montenegro und zwei pakistanische Flüchtlinge erzählen.
Croatian police officers have shot two refugee children while trying to stop a van that was smuggling 29 people from Bosnia to Croatia. The incident happened on Croatian soil, near Donji Lapac in Zadar county. While the smuggler ran away, two children and several wounded adults were transferred to Zadar hospital, where one child with facial gunshot wounds had urgent surgery and had to be transferred to Zagreb hospital for the additional reconstructive surgery of the jaw and face. According to medical sources, there were 15 children in the van — the youngest being seven years old. In total, seven people ended up in the hospital. Both children, aged 12, had facial wounds from the gunfire and remain under intensive care.
Die Zahl der Flüchtlinge, die es von der Türkei über die Westbalkanstaaten bis zur Grenze der EU schaffen, hat rasant zugenommen. Das berichtet die Wochenzeitung „Die Zeit“ in ihrer aktuellen Ausgabe. Der „Brennpunkt der illegalen Migration“ ist nach Auskunft des Bundesinnenministeriums (BMI) Bosnien-Herzegowina.
It was not until the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner sent an official letter to the government that did it finally decide to act. One of its initiatives was to transfer 270 people from Sarajevo to Salakovac asylum centre, near the city of Mostar. But as with many things in Bosnia, not all went according to plan. The Croat-dominated police force of the Hercegovina-Neretva Canton, where the Salakovac centre is located, decided to defy the decision of the national government. On May 18, they intercepted the buses carrying the refugees on their way to the centre, blocking their passage and causing a five-hour standoff.
Groups of migrants and refugees have set up an improvised tent camp in a park near City Hall in Sarajevo as the Bosnian authorities try to find a solution to deal with the increasing number of people using the country as a transit route to Western Europe this year. Migrants in the camp declined to be interviewed for this article, just saying that they want to continue their journey towards the EU. It is estimated that there are several hundred migrants at the camp but the Sarajevo authorities do not have any data on how many. Local Sarajevans bring them food and other supplies.
Eigentlich wollte in Europa niemand mehr verstörende Bilder von Flüchtlingen sehen: auf dem Rasen sitzende junge Familien mit ihren Kleinkindern, Gruppen von scheu um sich blickenden Männern, verzweifelte Frauen, die um Essen und eine Unterkunft für ihre Kinder bitten. Daneben kranke Menschen, in Decken gewickelt, nur unzulänglich versorgt. Doch solche Szenen spielen sich jetzt in einem kleinen Park gegenüber der Vijećnica, dem alten Rathaus und der ehemaligen Staatsbibliothek der bosnischen Hauptstadt Sarajevo, ab.
When you think of refugees in connection with Bosnia and Herzegovina, you may think of people displaced by fighting in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. But today the country is facing a different kind of refugee crisis as it strains to safeguard the rights of a growing number of people from other regions who are seeking protection. According to the UNHCR, 1,138 asylum seekers and migrants arrived to Bosnia between January 1 and March 3, more than the total for 2017. Most of them are from Syria, followed by Pakistan, Libya, and Afghanistan. Some are fleeing conflict and human rights abuses, while others are seeking a better life.