Bosnians have called for help from the European Union as tensions escalate between migrants and locals after a camp burned down near the border with EU member-state Croatia.
Hundreds of migrants, some claiming to come from “occupied Kashmir”, have been left without shelter after the destruction of the Lipa migrant camp near the town of Bihać late last month. Now, many migrants lack proper protection as winter approaches in the Muslim-majority country, which borders the European Union.
While the EU has promised cash to help the migrants, some allege that local officials pocket the money for themselves. Tensions have also risen between migrants and people in the town after two Moroccans stabbed a local, German tabloid Bild reports.
After Migrant Camp Burns Down, Hundreds Stuck Out in Balkan Snows https://t.co/j8JErMufOK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 26, 2020
Following the camp’s destruction, a number of migrants have been living in abandoned houses in Bihać. While some media have claimed the stabbing victim tried to extort money from the two Moroccans who attacked him, the victim’s cousin said he simply wanted to clarify something with the men.
“I wanted to help these people. We used to have war, and I know what it’s like. But Europe should now send them to another country. We don’t even have a good life here yet,” the victim’s cousin said.
“The money that Europe has sent is pocketed by politicians. It doesn’t reach the migrants. There’s corruption at every step,” he added.
A local woman named Zeyna filmed the aftermath of the attack and said: “‘I’m scared. I haven’t slept since. It looked like a horror movie.”
“It’s a mess here. Migrants are causing problems. Something like this has never happened here. The IOM [International Organization for Migration] and the government must solve this,” she added.
The media in Bosnia has criticised the IOM after documents allegedly revealed that at least €70,000 meant for the new camp had been diverted.
The UN body, meanwhile, claimed the entire accusation was a campaign by the local cantonal prime minister to deflect criticism away from his handling of the issue.
Bosnian Regional PM Calls on Italy to Help Stop Migrant Surge https://t.co/2U40i5kJ1H
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 13, 2020
Bosnia has requested help from European Union member-states in the past regarding migrants, with Mustafa Ružnić, prime minister of the canton of Una Sana, calling on the Italian government to help stop the flow of migrants into the Balkan region in September.