Bihac Mayor Suhret Fazlić said on Friday that the situation in this northwestern Bosnian town, as well as all of Una-Sana Canton, was the worst to date because of the large influx of illegal migrants and the fact that the state authorities were not doing anything to control the problem.
“The situation has never been worse. We have an uncontrolled daily influx of migrants and several thousand people in the streets, public spaces and abandoned buildings. We have been left on our own again,” Fazlić told the press.
Local authorities estimate there are at least 7,000 illegal migrants in Una-Sana Canton. In reception centres there is room for only half of them, as a result of which about 4,000 migrants are wandering the streets of Bihać, Cazin and Velika Kladuša, sleeping in parks and abandoned buildings without any conditions for personal hygiene.
They are all waiting for an opportunity to try to and cross the Croatian border.
Such a large number of illegal migrants in the canton’s small towns is an increasing security issue as they are involved in frequent incidents, notably fights between themselves and theft.
Cantonal police spokesman Ale Siljdedic said 80-90 percent of police interventions were due to the behaviour of migrants.
The Bihać Mayor said that since the canton was still left to its own devices, it was forced to consider “radical measures.” “We are ready for radical moves. The migrants must be removed from city streets and we are absolutely not interested in anything else.”
Fazlić said the canton would likely set up makeshift camps again where police would bring migrants after removing them from the streets.
A camp like this was erected on Pljesivica mountain but it was dismantled last year due to its inhuman conditions. The migrants were then transferred to temporary, better-equipped accommodation centres, mainly around Sarajevo.