International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

IOM: About 7,000 illegal migrants currently staying in Bosnia

July 29, 2020

About 7,000 illegal migrants are currently staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina, waiting for a chance to continue their journey towards the European Union, the head of the Sarajevo office of the International Organisation for Migration, Peter van der Auweraert, said on Wednesday, noting a growing number of Bangladeshi nationals among them.

Van der Auweraert was quoted by Dnevni Avaz newspaper as saying that movements of illegal migrants have intensified after the restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus epidemic have been lifted. He said that migrants currently staying in Serbia are trying to reach the EU not just by using the route through Bosnia and Herzegovina but also those passing through Croatia, Hungary and Romania.

Those who manage to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina do not stay too long and they immediately try to continue their journey to Croatia, mostly using the route going through Una-Sana Canton.

Of the estimated 7,000 illegal migrants currently staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 5,200 are accommodated in the reception centres in the Bihac area of northwestern Bosnia and in Sarajevo. Another 1,500 are staying out in the open or in makeshift accommodation in the Bihac area, and several hundred in Tuzla.

The IOM official said that no cases of infection with the novel Covid-19 coronavirus have been confirmed among illegal migrants to date.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a451476/IOM-About-7-000-illegal-migrants-currently-staying-in-Bosnia.html

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