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Bosnia closes “worst” migrant camp in Europe

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Wednesday, the authorities in Bosnia closed a temporary migrant camp near the border with Croatia, where the international community denounced the poor living conditions in it and transferred the migrants in it to Sarajevo, according to a police source.

This camp, which opened in June in Bihac in northwestern Bosnia, has been called a “jungle”. It is built on an old dump and the surrounding land is full of mines from the remnants of war that the country witnessed in the 1990s.

The camp does not have basic facilities, and immigrants live in tents without water or electricity.

“In total, 770 people were transported to Sarajevo via about 15 buses,” Bihac police spokesman Ali Siljdidic told AFP.

He stressed that the Red Cross and the municipality will remove the tents during the day.

This camp was specifically criticized by Brussels, which funds several immigration centers in Bosnia run by the International Organization for Migration.

Donia Mijatovic, the European Commissioner for Human Rights in Europe, described it as a “shame” that Bosnia kept this camp when it visited it last week, denouncing the “worst” migrant camp in Europe.

With international pressure and temperatures dropping, the authorities decided to open a new camp in an old barracks near Sarajevo, but far from the border with Croatia, the European Union member.

Work on this new site has not yet been completed, but half of the migrants have been taken from Bihac, according to a source at the International Organization for Migration. Upon completion of the business within two weeks, the barracks will be able to receive hundreds of additional immigrants.

The other half of the Bihac immigrants were taken to a reception center in Hadzici, near Sarajevo.

The majority of them are young men from Asian and North African countries and from the Middle East.

The Bihac region has become the last stop for immigrants who cross two years ago Bosnia, this small, closed country in the Balkans, trying to reach Western Europe.

Ali Silgiddic said that about 3,200 immigrants are currently in four camps in Bosnia run by the International Organization for Migration in this canton, which is on the border with Croatia.

About a thousand outside the camps live in private housing or abandoned buildings and houses.

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