BIHAC: Many migrants and refugees staying at a camp in northwestern Bosnia have complained of respiratory and skin infections after spending days in makeshift tents and containers amid freezing weather and snowstorms, aid workers warned.
Most of the hundreds of migrants stuck at the Lipa facility near Bosnia’s border with Croatia have been accommodated in heated military tents following days of uncertainty after a fire gutted most of the camp on Dec 23.
Bosnia has faced sharp criticism for leaving around 1,000 people without shelter after the blaze. The authorities first said they would move the migrants to another location, but they ended up setting up military tents at the site instead.
The Amnesty International rights group in a statement on Tuesday said a sustainable and durable solution for the migrants in Bosnia is needed. It said political bickering has marred efforts to deal with the crisis facing people fleeing war and poverty in their nations.
Accommodation is available to house most of the people currently sleeping rough in bitterly cold temperatures in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty Internationals European Institutions Office. What is lacking is the political will to make that happen.
Geddie added that the current crisis is also a consequence of EUs policy of fortifying its borders that has left thousands of people stranded on its periphery or in the neighbouring countries.
Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2021