• Réfugiés : #violences et #chaos dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine
    Traduit et adapté par Manon Rumiz (Article original : https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Bosnia-Erzegovina/Migranti-caos-Bosnia-204594)

    Squats démantelés, familles déportées et laissées sans aide au bord de la route, violentes manifestations anti-migrants.... Dans le canton d’Una-Sana (nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine), la situation des réfugiés devient toujours plus dramatique.

    « C’est le chaos. » Voilà comment Silvia Maraone, qui coordonne les activités de l’ONG italienne Ipsia (https://www.facebook.com/IPSIA.BIH) à #Bihać, résume la situation actuelle dans le canton d’#Una_Sana, explosive depuis le milieu de l’été. « Les conditions imposées par le gouvernement local n’offrent plus de répit à personne. Même les familles, les femmes et les enfants n’ont plus accès aux #camps officiels. Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives. »

    Dans le même temps, la police expulse les #squats et tous les #camps_informels, renvoyant les réfugiés hors des frontières du canton. La population locale, de son côté, manifeste ouvertement son hostilité face à la présence massive de candidats à l’exil. Les agressions verbales et physiques se multiplient, ainsi que les attaques contre les volontaires.

    “Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le #cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans.”

    Du fait de la #pandémie et de la proclamation de l’#état_d’urgence, la situation s’est encore détériorée depuis le printemps. Les camps officiels, déjà pleins, n’accueillent plus de nouveaux entrants alors mêmes que les arrivées ont repris depuis la réouverture des frontières au mois de juin. Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans, d’autant qu’à l’ouest, le jeu de domino entre les polices italienne, slovène et croate se poursuit, aboutissant au #refoulement des migrants interceptés dans cette zone frontalière de l’Union européenne.

    La seule réponse apportée par les autorités locales a été l’ouverture, en avril, d’un « #camp_d’urgence » à Lipa, entre Bihać et #Bosanski_Petrovac, dont le millier places a vite été rempli. Les squats se sont donc multipliés dans les #friches_industrielles et dans les bois. De toute façon, les migrants ne souhaitent pas rester ici et le « #game » continue : chaque jour, ils sont des centaines à tenter de déjouer la surveillance de la frontière croate avec l’espoir de ne pas être arrêté avant d’avoir atteint l’Italie.

    Le début du « chaos » qu’évoque Silvia Maraone remonte à la mi-juillet, avec l’expulsion du camp de fortune qui s’était créé à l’entrée de #Velika_Kladuša, près du camp officiel de #Miral, le long de la rivière #Kladušnica. Officiellement, l’opération a été déclenchée à cause des plaintes répétées des riverains. Début août, la police est revenue pour chasser les migrants qui avaient reconstitué un nouveau camp.

    « #Milices_citoyennes »

    Quelques jours plus tard, le maire de Bihać, #Šuhret_Fazlić, déclarait que la situation était aussi devenue insoutenable dans sa commune. « Cela n’a jamais été pire qu’aujourd’hui. Chaque jour, nous assistons à l’arrivée d’un flux incontrôlé de migrants. Il y en a déjà des milliers qui campent un peu partout. Une fois de plus, on nous laisse seuls », avant de conclure, menaçant : « Nous sommes prêts à prendre des mesures radicales ». Ce n’est pas la première fois que le maire de Bihać tire la sonnette d’alarme. Début 2018, au tout début de la crise, l’édile déplorait déjà le manque de soutien des autorités de la Fédération, l’entité croato-bosniaque dont dépend le canton, et nationales. À l’automne 2019, Silvia Maraone s’inquiétait aussi : « La situation ne fera qu’empirer dans les mois qui viennent si de nouveaux camps officiels ne sont pas ouverts d’urgence ».

    Selon les chiffres officiels, plus de 80% des réfugiés présents sur le sol bosnien se concentreraient dans le seul canton d’Una Sana. « Il sont plus de 5000, dont à peine la moitié hébergés dans des centres d’accueil officiels. Les autres dorment dans des bâtiments détruits ou dans les bois en attendant de tenter le game », poursuit Silvia Maraone. Ces dernières semaines, la population de Velika Kladuša a organisé des manifestations hebdomadaires contre la présence de migrants. Organisées sur les réseaux sociaux, ces rassemblements réunissent des habitants venus de tout le canton.

    Pire, des #milices citoyennes ont commencé à se mettre en place pour refouler les migrants. « Dans certains groupes Facebook, des membres signalent les plaques des véhicules qui transportent des migrants », observe Silvia Maraone. « Des routes ont même été bloquées, des pierres et des bâtons jetés sur les véhicules. » Ce n’est pas tout. « Des citoyens ont attaqué des migrants en pleine rue, tandis que les volontaires leur venant en aide se sont faits dénoncer à la police. » Le 17 août, les forces de l’ordre ont dû intervenir à Velika Kladuša où des dizaines de riverains s’étaient massés et avaient attaqué un bus où se trouvaient des migrants.

    Pour justifier de telles actions coup de poing, on trouve la rhétorique habituelle de l’extrême-droite complotiste : la prétendue violence de ces migrants et la menace qu’ils feraient peser pour la sécurité de la population locale. Des arguments balayés par les statistiques officielles, mais qui font mouche auprès de Bosniens fatigués par des décennies de divisions, de corruption et de misère.

    Deux jours après la violente manifestation du 17 août à Velika Kladuša, la cellule de crise du canton d’Una-Sana a décrété des mesures très dures : l’évacuation de tous les migrants vivant hors des structures d’accueil officielles, perquisition dans tous les lieux privés offrants des services aux migrants, interdiction de quitter les camps officiels, d’utiliser les transports en commun et d’entrer dans le canton pour tous les migrants. Des postes de contrôle ont aussi été mis en place sur les routes d’accès au canton.

    “Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques.”

    « Les personnes expulsées des squats n’ont pas toutes pu être accueillies au camp de #Lipa et ont été refoulées en #Republika_Srpska (l’autre entité de Bosnie-Herzégovine) », dénonce Silvia Maraone. « Même les familles avec enfants sont abandonnées sans aucune aide. » Ces restrictions à la #liberté_de_mouvement violent les #droits_humains fondamentaux, comme l’a dénoncé Amnesty International dans un communiqué, le 25 août. Le réseau Transbalkanska Solidarnost (https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog) demande aux autorités locales et aux organisations internationales de « mettre fin à la politique du silence », de condamner publiquement ces pratiques illégales, de poursuivre les responsables et d’assurer un accueil digne et sûr aux migrants.

    Transbalkanska Solidarnost a recueilli plusieurs #témoignages sur ces expulsions, dont celles de l’ONG No Name Kitchen à Bosanska Otoka. « Nous dormions dans une ancienne usine abandonnée près de Bihać quand la police est arrivée. Il devait y avoir 20 ou 25 policiers. Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques, puis nous ont expulsés ici où nous sommes sans nourriture, sans rien. Je me suis échappé d’Afghanistan pour me sauver et là je retrouve cette violence... Pourquoi ?! », se désole A., 16 ans. Selon les chiffres des associations, plus de 500 réfugiés se sont retrouvés bloqués sur la ligne de démarcation entre les deux entités bosniennes, personne ne voulant les prendre en charge.

    Malgré les menaces qui se font toujours plus fortes, les réseaux de #volontaires continuent de venir en aide aux migrants : distribution de produits de première nécessité, de vêtements et signalement des violences et des violations des droits. « Ce n’est pas facile », reconnaît Silvia Maraone. « Tout le monde vous regarde mal et ceux que vous aidez sont détestés… Nous restons prudents. » Son ONG, Ipsia ; intervient toujours dans le camp de Bira, géré par l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) où elle gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. « Jamais le bras-de-fer avec le reste de la Bosnie n’a été aussi tendu. »

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-chaos-dans-le-nord-ouest-de-la-bosnie-herzegovine

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #camps_de_réfugiés #campements #IOM #extrême_droite #solidarité

    –-> « Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives »
    #ségrégation #transports_publics #transports_en_commun #apartheid

    –-> « l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. »
    En fait, ce qu’il faudrait faire c’est ouvrir les frontières et laisser ces personnes bloquées en Bosnie, où elles n’ont aucune intention de rester, de partir...

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • [Via Transbalkanska Solidarnost - Google Translate]

    11th May, 2020
    Today, we received information from people who were forced to stay in the Lipa camp that many people vomited last night after eating what was served to them for dinner. Food is provided by IOM and CK from donations provided by the EU. We were told that instead of calling them a doctor as promised by the IOM, they called the police who were violent. Today, many people still feel bad.

    We continuously warn that the conditions in the Lipa camp are absolutely unacceptable and that they do not meet even the minimum standards of human dignity. Apart from the fact of overcrowded sleeping tents, without hygienic conditions because there is no running water or sewage, poor infrastructure, it is becoming increasingly clear that repression and violence against already exhausted people are being used more and more. Food, which until now was quantitatively minimal and of questionable nutritional value, is now becoming life-threatening for people who refuse to receive basic medical care.

    We demand from all competent authorities that the Lipa camp, as well as all other camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina, be urgently disbanded, and that people be provided with adequate and humane accommodation and care in accordance with the requirements of human dignity, as prescribed by the laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina. international human rights standards.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/144469886266984/?multi_permalinks=568659870514648&notif_id=1590478626498769&notif_t=group_

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp #Lipa #Intoxication

  • [Google Translate]

    Problems with migrants in the reception camp “Lipa”

    According to the order of the Council of Ministers, the police of Una-Sana Canton have been moving migrants from the streets of Bihać to the newly opened reception camp “Lipa” for the third week. The problem is that “Lipa” is an open camp, so every day a third of migrants return to the city.

    Most of the approximately 5,000 migrants residing in Una-Sana Canton have tried to cross the border at least twice. That is exactly why the newly opened camp Lipa does not suit them, because it is about forty kilometers away from the border.

    NAZIF SHEHERZAD, Afghanistan

    We do not want to live in Lipa or Bihać, we want to go outside Bosnia. We have no reason to stay here because it is very bad and that creates additional problems for us.

    MUSTAFA, Pakistan

    In the morning I sleep and the police come, pick me up and take me to a new camp. I don’t want to be there and I’m back, because I want to go to Italy via Croatia.

    Migrants are still being relocated from abandoned factories and from the streets of Bihac, claims Cantonal Interior Minister Nermin Kljajic, and points out that about 150 are being relocated daily, because detailed health tests are being done, however, many of them are returning to Bihac from the camp.

    NERMIN KLJAJIĆ, Minister of the Interior of the USC

    During the night they try to return to Bihać, in that percentage 30-40% of migrants are continuously returned to the location of Lipa, they have not yet accepted that location and we are aware of the situation that they are far better here in Bihać in terms of their comfort.

    There are currently about 5,000 migrants in Una-Sana Canton, 3,000 are housed in camps while others find a roof over their heads in private accommodation, old buildings and on the street. Considering the migrant crisis and the epidemiological situation in this canton, it is positive that all migrants who have been tested for coronavirus so far are negative, and if that changes, they will be treated like all other citizens.

    https://bhrt.ba/1146661/problemi-sa-migrantima-u-prihvatnom-kampu-lipa

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp #Lipa #Una-Sanacanton #Bihac

  • Migranti lungo la Rotta, quarantena permanente versione testuale

    A partire da marzo, mano a mano che il coronavirus dilagava per l’Europa, alcuni stati disposti lungo la dorsale balcanica hanno messo in atto provvedimenti che hanno interessato non solamente la popolazione locale, ma anche e soprattutto la popolazione migrante che vive all’interno dei centri di transito e per richiedenti asilo, allestiti e istituiti lungo la cosiddetta Rotta balcanica a partire dal 2016.
    Dopo il 2015, anno della “crisi dei rifugiati”, che ha visto arrivare in Unione europea quasi un milione di persone (di cui oltre 850 mila transitate dalla Grecia), a partire da marzo 2016 la Rotta balcanica è stata dichiarata ufficialmente chiusa, in base al controverso accordo turco-europeo, che prevede fondamentalmente che la Turchia – in cambio di 6 miliardi di euro versati dall’Ue e di un’accelerazione nelle trattative legate all’ingresso in Europa – gestisca i quasi 4 milioni di richiedenti asilo che si trovano nel suo territorio.
    Di fatto, però, quell’accordo (in realtà una dichiarazione congiunta tra le parti coinvolte) non ha fermato il flusso di persone on the move, ma lo ha solamente rallentato e reso più pericoloso; si calcola, in effetti, che tra il 2016 e il 2019 siano comunque passate circa 160 mila persone lungo questo corridoio migratorio.

    Confini incandescenti
    I paesi maggiormente interessati dalla presenza dei migranti in transito sono Grecia, Serbia e – a partire dal 2018 – Bosnia Erzegovina, diventata nella zona nord-occidentale il collo di bottiglia prima di entrare in Croazia e da lì nei Paesi Shengen, la meta cui maggiormente aspirano le persone, che provengono principalmente da Afghanistan, Pakistan, Siria, Iran e Iraq.
    Poco prima che la pandemia prendesse piede a livello globale, a partire da fine febbraio, la Rotta balcanica era tornata sui principali giornali e siti di notizie, perchè il presidente turco Recep Tayyp Erdo?an aveva annunciato di aver aperto i confini del paese ai migranti intenzionati a raggiungere l’Europa. Quella che sino a poco tempo prima sembrava solo una minaccia si è fatta realtà; nel giro di pochi giorni almeno 10 mila persone hanno raggiunto il confine terrestre tra Turchia e Grecia e hanno provato a sfondare i cordoni di sicurezza greci, trovando una risposta violenta, anche con il sostegno delle polizie e dei militari di altri governi europei.
    La situazione incandescente sul confine, che faceva immaginare uno scenario simile a quello del 2015, con migliaia di persone in transito lungo la rotta, si è però interrotta bruscamente con l’arrivo del virus e le misure di chiusura, limitazione di movimento e autoisolamento messe in atto in pratica da quasi tutti gli stati del mondo.
    Gli stati posti lungo la Rotta balcanica hanno non solo imposto misure restrittive alla popolazione locale, ma hanno chiuso la popolazione migrante all’interno dei campi, dispiegando forze speciali a controllarne i perimetri: nessuna nuova persona entra e nessuno esce, in una quarantena permanente.

    Prendono la strada dei boschi
    In Grecia si calcola una presenza di oltre 118 mila tra rifugiati e richiedenti asilo; circa 20 mila abitano nei 30 campi dislocati sul continente, molti vivono in appartamenti o shelter e oltre 38 mila sono bloccati nei campi ufficiali e informali sulle isole di Lesvos, Chios, Samos e Kos.
    In Serbia sono oltre 8.500 i richiedenti asilo e i migranti distribuiti nei 17 centri in gestione governativa all’interno del paese. Durante il mese di marzo polizia ed esercito locali hanno portato le persone che vivevano negli squat delle periferie di Belgrado e di Šid all’interno dei campi, che sono ora sovraffollati.
    Infine si calcola che in Bosnia Erzegovina ci siano circa 5.500 persone alloggiate in 9 campi per l’accoglienza, ma che almeno 2 mila vivano dormendo in edifici e fabbriche abbandonati o in tende e accampamenti di fortuna nei boschi lungo i confini con la Croazia. L’ampia presenza di persone che vivono fuori dai campi ufficiali ha fatto sì che il 17 aprile il consiglio dei ministri della Bosnia Erzegovina decidesse che ogni straniero che non ha un documento di identità valido e un indirizzo di residenza registrato presso l’ufficio stranieri del comune di competenza, verrà obbligatoriamente portato nei centri di ricezione, dove dovrà risiedere senza possibilità di uscire.
    Per questo motivo già dalle settimane precedenti, in località Lipa, cantone di Una Sana, territorio di Bihac, sono stati avviati di gran lena i lavori per mettere in piedi un nuovo centro temporaneo di transito. Il campo, costituito da ampi tendoni in cerata con letti a castello, container sanitari e toilette chimiche, è stato fortumente voluto dalla municipalità di Bihac per spostare dalle strade e da edifici diroccati le migliaia di persone che vagano tra le rovine senza cibo, acqua corrente, elettricità e vestiti. A partire dalla mattina del 21 aprile sono iniziati in maniera pacifica i trasporti dei migranti, scortati dalla polizia locale, al nuove centro in gestione all’Organizzazione mondiale dei migranti e al Danish Refugee Council. Al tempo stesso, decine di persone che non vogliono vivere nei centri e rimanere bloccate in quarantena a tempo indeterminato, hanno deciso di prendere la strada dei boschi e tentare di andare verso la Croazia o rimanere tra le foreste, in attesa che si allentino nei paesi europei le misure anti-Covid.
    Le preoccupazioni nutrite dalle diverse organizzazioni non governative e associazioni in tutti i contesti citati sono le medesime: i campi sono sovraffolati e non permettono di prevenire la diffusione del contagio, in molti centri i servizi igienici e i presidi sanitari sono insufficienti, in alcune realtà l’acqua non è potabile e fondamentalmente è impossibile mantenere le distanze. Le persone passano le giornate chiuse dentro strutture nella maggior parte dei casi fatiscenti, costrette a lunghe file per ricevere i pasti e sotto il controllo o della polizia e dell’esercito (come in Serbia e Grecia), che impediscono i tentativi di fuga dai campi, o delle imprese di sorveglianza private nei campi in Bosnia (campi gestiti da Iom, a differenza di Serbia e Grecia, dove sono in gestione governativa).
    Naturalmente, se già per la popolazione locale è difficile trovare mascherine usa e getta e guanti, per i migranti nei campi è pressochè impossibile, al punto che sia in Grecia che in Serbia, in alcuni dei centri i migranti hanno cominciato a cucire mascherine in stoffa, per la popolazione dei campi ma anche per la popolazione locale, supportati da alcune organizzazioni.
    In tutti i campi le organizzazioni che non si occupano di servizi primari, ma per esempio di interventi psico-sociali come Caritas, hanno dovuto sospendere o modificare le loro attività e instaurare una modalità di lavoro degli staff a rotazione, per preservare i propri operatori.

    Distanziamento impossibile
    Nonostante in Serbia e in Bosnia Erzegovina non siano stati ufficialmente accertati casi di persone positive al Covid19 tra i migranti nei centri, la stessa cosa non si può dire della Grecia, dove sono scoppiati almeno tre focolai, il primo a Ritsona, una ex base militare a 70 chilometri da Atene, che ospita oltre 3 mila persone, il secondo nel campo di Malakasa, dove è stato trovato un caso positivo tra gli oltre 1.600 residenti, il terzo nel sud della Grecia, a Kranidi, dove 150 su 497 persone di un ostello che ospita famiglie monogenitoriali sono risultate positive al test. In tutti i casi i campi sono stati posti in totale isolamento e quarantena per 14 giorni, e le persone non sono autorizzate a uscire dai loro container, stanze o tende. Per evitare che il fenomeno esploda soprattutto nei contesti come le isole, dove i campi sono sovraffolati e le condizioni di vita più miserevoli, il governo greco ha previsto lo spostamento di almeno 2.300 persone considerate più vulnerabili al virus sulla terraferma, in appartamenti, hotel e altri campi.
    In generale le reazioni dei migranti alle misure che sono state messe in atto sono state simili in tutti i luoghi. In primis vi è la sincera preoccupazione di ammalarsi nei campi; le persone sono consapevoli che igiene e misure di distanziamento sociale sono impossibili da tenere. Per fare un esempio, il Bira, un campo in Bosnia Erzegovina per uomini single e minori non accompagnati, che ha una capacità ufficiale di 1.500 persone, ne ospita più di 1.800 e nei container abitativi vivono non 6 persone, ma almeno il doppio. In luoghi così è impossibile fisicamente mettere in atto tutte le procedure necessarie a evitare il contagio.
    Altro punto che risulta particolarmente frustrante, soprattutto nei campi in Serbia e in Bosnia Erzegovina, è l’impossibilità di uscire fisicamente dai centri. Questo significa non poter esercitare nessuna libertà di movimento, non poter andare a comprare beni e cibo, magari non necessari per la sopravvivenza, ma di aiuto per resistere psicologicamente. Significa non poter andare a ritirare i soldi che i parenti mandano tramite Western Union e Money gram e ovviamente significa non poter tentare il game, il “gioco” di recarsi a piedi, da soli o guidati dai trafficanti, verso i confini, per cercare di valicarli.

    Gli interventi Caritas e Ipsia
    La frustrazione di rimanere bloccati a tempo indeterminato è molto alta; in molti dei campi sono scoppiate risse a volte anche molto violente, tra gli stessi migranti ma anche con le forze di polizia e di sicurezza preposte al controllo dei centri. Questi episodi, in Bosnia Erzegovina, sono avvenuti tra i minori non accompagnati del campo Bira, al Miral di Velika Kladuša, a Blažuj vicino a Sarajevo. Stesse dinamiche, con conseguente intervento pesante della security, a Krnja?a, Preševo e Adaševci in Serbia.
    Le organizzazioni impegnate nei centri per migranti potrebbero avere un importante ruolo di stress-relief (supporto in situazione di pressione psicologica) in un contesto di frustrazioni e violenze così diffuse, ma le organizzazioni che gestiscono i campi e i governi locali preferiscono una dimesione di chiusura quasi totale, senza capire che sarebbe importante prevenire la crescita di ulteriori tensioni.
    Caritas e Ipsia Acli, partner dei progetti lungo la rotta dei Balcani dal 2016, continuano – nella misura del possibile – le loro attività in Grecia, Serbia e Bosnia. Gli operatori locali sono portavoce e testimoni dei bisogni delle persone; anche se, a seguito dell’emergenza sanitaria, i ragazzi e le ragazze in Servizio civile all’estero hanno dovuto tornare in patria per non rimanere bloccati, e ciò ha tolto forze ed energie ai team locali, gli operatori sul terreno continuano il supporto alla popolazione migrante lungo la Rotta. Un piccolo apporto, in un mare di bisogni, ma il segno di un’attenzione e una prossimità che non devono essere cancellate dal virus.

    https://www.caritas.it/home_page/attivita_/00008790_Migranti_lungo_la_Rotta__quarantena_permanente.html

    #route_des_balkans #Balkans #Grèce #Croatie #campement #hébergement #camps #forêt #masques #distanciation_sociale #Grèce #Serbie #Bosnie #fermeture_des_frontières #frontières #coronavirus #covid-19 #Lipa #Bihac #OIM #IOM #Danish_Refugee_Council #Ritsona #Athènes #Malakasa #Kranidi #Bira #confinement #liberté_de_mouvement #Miral #Velika_Kladuša #Velika_Kladusa #Blažuj #Blazuj #Preševo #Adaševci #Krnja #Presevo #Adasevci

    ping @luciebacon

    • [Traduit par Chiara Lauvergnac, via Migreurop] 

      Migrants along the Route, permanent quarantine
      April 27, 2020
      Starting in March, as the coronavirus spread to Europe, some states located along the rear Balkan have implemented agreements that have affected not only the local population, but also and above all the migrant population living inside the transit and asylum seeker centers, set up and set up along the so-called Balkan route from 2016.
      After 2015, the year of the “refugee crisis”, which saw almost one million people arrive in the European Union (of which more than 850 thousand passed through Greece), starting from March 2016 the Balkan route was officially declared closed, on the basis of the controversial Turkish-European agreement, which basically provides that Turkey - in exchange for € 6 billion paid by the EU and an acceleration in negotiations related to entry into Europe - handles almost 4 million asylum seekers who we are in its territory.

      In fact, however, that agreement (actually a joint declaration between the parties involved) did not stop the flow of people on the move, but really slowed it down and made it more dangerous; it is estimated, in fact, that between 2016 and 2019 around 160 thousand people have passed through this migratory corridor.

      Red-hot borders

      The countries mainly affected by the presence of migrants in transit are Greece, Serbia and - starting from 2018 - Bosnia and Herzegovina, that became the bottleneck in the north-western area before entering Croatia and from there the Shengen countries, the destination which people aspire to, who are mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

      Shortly before the pandemic took off globally, starting from the end of February, the Balkan Route had returned to the main newspapers and news sites, because Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan announced he had opened the borders to migrants willing to reach Europe. What seemed only a threat became reality; within a few days at least 10,000 people reached the land border between Turkey and Greece and tried to push through the security cordons, finding a violent response, also with the support of the police and military personnel from other EU countries.
      The incandescent situation on the border, which showed a scenario similar to that of 2015, with thousands of people in transit along the route, however, was abruptly interrupted with the arrival of the virus and the measures of closure of movement and the self-isolation put into practice by almost all states of the world.
      The states located along the Balkan route have not only imposed restrictive measures on the local population, but have closed the migrant population inside the camps, deploying special forces to control their perimeters: no new person enters and no one excludes, in a permanent quarantine.
      They take the road in the woods

      In Greece there are an estimated 118,000 refugees and asylum seekers; about 20 thousand inhabitants in the 30 camps located on the continent, many residents in apartments or shelters and over 38 thousand are blocked in the official and informal camps on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Kos.
      In Serbia there are over 8,500 asylum seekers and migrants distributed in the 17 government-run centers within the country. During the month of March the police and army brought the people who lived in the squat on the outskirts of Belgrade and Šid into the camps, which are now overcrowded.
      Finally, it is estimated that in Bosnia and Herzegovina there are about 5,500 people housed in 9 camps for reception, but that at least 2,000 live sleeping in abandoned buildings and factories or in makeshift tents and camps in the woods along the borders with Croatia. On April 17, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided that every foreigner who does not have a valid identity document and a residence address registered at the foreign office of the municipality of competence, will be obligatorily taken to the reception centers, where he must reside without possibility to go out. For this reason, work has already started in the past weeks, in Lipa, in the canton of Una Sana, in the Bihac area, to set up a new temporary transit centre. The camp, consisting of large tents with bunk beds, sanitary containers and chemical toilets, was fortuitously desired by the municipality of Bihac to move the thousands of people who wander through streets and ruined buildings without food, running water, electricity and clothes. Transportation of migrants, escorted by local police, to the new centre managed by the the World Organization for Migrants and the Danish Refugee Council began peacefully from the morning of April 21. At the same time, dozens of people who do not want to live in the centres and remain stuck in quarantine indefinitely, have decided to take the road through the woods and try to go to Croatia or stay in the forests, waiting for anti-Covid measures to loosen in the various countries.
      The concerns raised by the various non-governmental organizations and associations in all the contexts mentioned are the same: thecamps are overcrowded and do not allow to prevent the spread of the infection, in many centers the toilets and health facilities are insufficient, in some situations the water is not drinkable and basically it is impossible to keep your distance. People spend their days locked in structures in most cases dilapidated, forced to wait in long lines to receive meals and under the control of the police and the army (as in Serbia and Greece), which prevent attempts to flee the camps, or private surveillance companies in the camps in Bosnia ( managed by IOM, unlike Serbia and Greece, where they are under government management).
      Of course, if it is already difficult for the local population to find disposable masks and gloves, for migrants in the camps it is almost impossible, to the point that both in Greece and Serbia, in some of the centers the migrants have begun to sew masks in cloth , for the population of the campss but also for the local population, supported by some organizations.
      In all camps, organizations that do not deal with primary services, but for example with psycho-social interventions such as IPSIA/Caritas, have had to suspend or modify their activities and establish a rotating staff working mode, to preserve their operators.
      Impossible distancing

      Although cases of positive Covid19 people among migrants in the centers have not been officially recognized in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the same cannot be said of Greece, where at least three outbreaks have erupted, the first in Ritsona, a former military base 70 kilometers from Athens, which houses over 3,000 people, the second in the Malakasa camp, where a positive case was found among the more than 1,600 residents, the third in southern Greece, in Kranidi, where 150 out of 497 people from a hostel hosting single parent families tested positive. In all cases the camps were placed in total isolation and quarantined for 14 days, and people are not allowed to leave their containers, rooms or tents. To prevent the phenomenon from exploding especially in contexts such as the islands, where the camps are overcrowded and the living conditions most miserable, the Greek government has disposed the movement of at least 2,300 people considered most vulnerable to the virus on the mainland, in apartments, hotels and other camps.
      In general, the reactions of migrants to the measures that have been put in place have been similar in all places. First of all, there is the sincere concern of getting sick in the camps; people are aware that hygiene and social distancing measures are impossible to maintain. For example, the Bira, a camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina for single men and unaccompanied minors, which has an official capacity of 1,500 people, is home to more than 1,800 and not just 6 people live in one container, but at least twice as many. In places like this it is physically impossible to put in place all the necessary procedures to avoid contagion.
      Another point that is particularly frustrating, especially in the camps in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the impossibility of physically leaving the centers. This means not being able to exercise any freedom of movement, not being able to go and buy goods and food, perhaps not necessary for survival, but of help to resist psychologically. It means not being able to go and collect the money that relatives send via Western Union and Money gram and obviously means not being able to try the game, the “game” to go on foot, alone or guided by traffickers, to the borders, to try to cross them.
      .
      The Caritas and Ipsia interventions

      The frustration of getting stuck indefinitely is very high; in many of the camps brawls sometimes even very violent broke out, among the migrants themselves but also with the police and security forces in charge of the control of the centers. These incidents in Bosnia and Herzegovina occurred among unaccompanied minors from the Bira camp, in Velika Kladuša’s Miral, in Blažuj near Sarajevo. Same dynamics, with consequent heavy security intervention, in Krnja? A, Preševo ​​and Adaševci in Serbia.
      Organizations engaged in migrant centers may have an important stress-relief role (support in situations of psychological pressure) in a context of such widespread frustrations and violence, but the organizations that manage the camps and local governments prefer an almost closed closure total, without understanding that it would be important to prevent the growth of further tensions.
      Caritas and Ipsia Acli, partners of projects along the Balkan route since 2016, continue - as far as possible - their activities in Greece, Serbia and Bosnia. Local operators are spokespersons and witnesses to people’s needs; even though, following the health emergency, the young men and women in the Civil Service abroad had to return to their homeland in order not to get stuck, and this took away local forces and energies. The operators on the ground continue to support the migrant population along the Route. A small contribution, in a sea of ​​needs, but the sign of attention and proximity that must not be erased by the virus.

      Silvia Maraone

      Caritas Italiana - Migranti lungo la Rotta, quarantena permanente

  • Bosnia Shifts Vulnerable Migrants and Refugees to New Temporary Camp

    Despite opposition from Bosnian Serbs, migrants and refugees who were living rough are being resettled to a temporary reception centre near the village of Lipa in the country’s north-west.
    The authorities in the Una-Sana Canton, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, moved a first group of about 120 migrants and refugees to the new reception centre in Lipa, not far from the town of Bihac, on Tuesday.

    In total, about 1,000 people who have been living on the streets of Bihac and nearby towns in the recent weeks because there is not enough space at existing reception centres will be relocated to the Lipa camp.

    In mid-March, the Bosnian authorities imposed restrictions on the movement of migrants and refugees and ordered them into temporary reception centres as a part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

    “Camp Lipa contains all the infrastructure needed to provide basic humanitarian needs to the users in the form of accommodation, food, hygiene, sanitation and medical care,” the Una-Sana cantonal government said in a press statement.

    The mayor of Bihac, Suhret Fazlic, told Bosnian media that moving these people to the new centre will allow their health and safety to be better monitored.

    According to police estimates, there are currently approximately 1,500 migrants in the Bihac area for whom there are no places in existing reception centres.

    Representatives of Serbs who returned to Bosnia’s Federation entity after fleeing during the war strongly opposed the construction of the camp near Lipa, a village where post-war Serb returnees live, because they claimed that the mainly Muslim migrants and refugees could be a threat to them.

    They argued that the construction of a migrant centre in near Lipa was a message to Serbs that they are not welcome in Bosnia’s Bosniak- and Croat-dominated Federation entity.

    They have threatened to block all access roads to the centre after the coronavirus epidemic ends, and have appealed for help to Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the tripartite Bosnian presidency.

    There are currently about 7,500 registered migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    https://balkaninsight.com/2020/04/21/bosnia-shifts-vulnerable-migrants-and-refugees-to-new-temporary-camp

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane #Serbe #Retour

  • Shelter Provided to Migrants Sleeping Rough in Bosnian Capital

    Migrants who have been sleeping on the streets of Sarajevo for the past weeks have been given accommodation at a temporary reception centre located in a military barracks near the city.
    The International Organization for Migration, IOM, the Danish Refugee Council, DRC, the Red Cross of the Federation entity in Bosnia, together with migrants who volunteered, on Friday set up heated isolation tents for migrants in the Blazuj army barracks, furnished with 1,000 beds, mattresses and blankets.

    The idea is to provide temporary accommodation for migrants and refugees who have previously been sleeping rough on the streets of Sarajevo.

    According to the IOM, the migrants will first go through a medical check-up pending registration after which they will have access to shelter, food, medical assistance and other humanitarian needs.

    In mid-March, the Sarajevo Canton, which includes the Bosnian capital and various nearby towns and villages, imposed restrictions on the movement of migrants, and ordered them into temporary reception centres as a part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

    However, since the existing temporary reception centres did not have the capacity to host all the migrants located in and around the Sarajevo Canton, more capacity was needed.

    A similar temporary reception centre is being built not far from the village of Lipa, in western Bosnia, in the Una-Sana Canton.

    However, Bosnian Serbs have called on the authorities not to build a tent camp near the village, where post-war Serb returnees live, because they claim the mainly Muslim migrants could be a threat to them.

    There are about 7,500 registered migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For at least 3,000 of them, there are no places in temporary reception centres set up by the authorities.

    https://balkaninsight.com/2020/03/28/shelter-provided-to-migrants-sleeping-rough-in-bosnian-capital

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Bosnia, new migrant hosting center inaugurated in Bihac

    Bosnian authorities on April 22 inaugurated a new hosting center for migrants that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. The facility will be managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the village of Lipa, near Bihac, at the border with Croatia.

    A new hosting center for refugees and migrants that can accommodate up to 1,000 people was inaugurated on April 22 in the village of Lipa, close to Bihac, in northwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina near the border with Croatia. The center will be managed by the International Organization for Migrants (IOM).

    Police have already brought a number of migrants to the facility among those — an estimated 1,500 people — who are sleeping rough or living in abandoned homes in the area of Bihac.

    A reported 100 people will be transferred every day to the facility, where doctors will give them a medical checkup, including a coronavirus test. Authorities said the transfer of migrants will for this reason progress slowly and that it will be completed in a few days.

    Government is working on repatriation program

    The center is meant to provide stable accommodation to migrants who want to eventually travel to a European Union member State.

    Bosnian Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic, however, is critical and wants to start a program to repatriate the migrants to their home countries. "Many thought that it was a humanitarian issue but they have finally understood that it is a matter of security and that this country is not able to sustain 7-8,000 migrants’’, the minister said.

    He added that he was not speaking about people fleeing war but about undocumented migrants who come from countries that are richer than Bosnia.

    Lipa residents against center

    Representatives of the 250 Serbian residents of the village of Lipa have said that they are against the center. They want to return to the homes they had prior to the war (1992-95) and have complained that migrants have electricity, running water and Wi-Fi at the center while they are still waiting for these municipal services.

    Lipa’s Serbians have already announced that they will organize protests once restrictions on gatherings due to the coronavirus emergency are lifted.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/24334/bosnia-new-migrant-hosting-center-inaugurated-in-bihac

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Amnesty International: Decision to confine Thousands of Migrants into Camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina puts Lives at Risk

    Responding to the decision of the local authorities in Una-Sana Canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina to forcefully transfer and confine thousands of migrants living in the area to an inadequate tent camp in Lipa, Amnesty’s Europe Deputy Director Massimo Moratti said:

    “Forcing people, many of whom are already vulnerable, into a hastily set up remote tent facility without ensuring adequate access to water and sanitation, spaces to self-isolate and accessible medical care is inhumane and will put people at greater risk of infection and preventable deaths.

    Confining people in potentially harmful conditions cannot be justified on the grounds of public health, stated by Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International

    “Confining people in potentially harmful conditions cannot be justified on the grounds of public health. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities in Bosnia have a responsibility to address the needs of all marginalised groups and ensure humane living conditions, including access to water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as appropriate medical care, for all people, including migrants and asylum-seekers.

    “Restrictions on the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers in the context of the COVID-19 public health emergency have to be lawful, necessary and proportionate and should not discriminate against or put at risk already marginalised people. These measures fail on all counts.”

    Restrictions on the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers in the context of the COVID-19 public health emergency have to be lawful, necessary and proportionate

    Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International

    Background

    Thousands of refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers trying to make their way into Europe are currently stranded in Una-Sana Canton in the north-west of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While about 4,100 are accommodated in the temporary reception facilities managed by International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated 3,000 are sleeping in squats in abandoned buildings or sleeping rough and are now at risk of being relocated to the Lipa camp.

    Following declaration of emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across BiH, the local authorities in Una-Sana Canton ordered a relocation of thousands of refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers currently sleeping rough on the territory of the canton into a temporary camp in the village of Lipa which is currently in preparation.

    In the past, the authorities in Una-Sana canton failed to provide adequate conditions for accommodation of refugees and migrants. The controversial Vucjak tent settlement built on a former landfill and close to a minefield from the Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, was finally closed in December and over 600 people transferred elsewhere following significant pressure by human rights groups and international community.

    https://www.sarajevotimes.com/amnesty-international-decision-to-confine-thousands-of-migrants-into-

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Relocation of Migrants to Newly opened Reception Camp on 83,000 Square Meters started

    The Una-Sana Canton (USC) police launched an action this morning to move migrants to a newly opened reception camp on the Lipa site, between Bihac and Bosanski Petrovac, Fena news agency reports.

    Police officers are currently deploying more than a hundred people who have previously stayed at the stadium of the Jedinstvo Football Club and the nearby (Gradska Aleja) City Walk in Bihac.

    It has also been confirmed that engaged medical teams will do triage when entering the Lipa camp.

    The current capacity of the newly opened reception camp accommodates around 1,000 people, while the relocation action could take several days due to detailed medical examinations.

    “Lipa” is equipped with all necessary infrastructure to provide the beneficiaries with basic humanitarian needs in the form of accommodation, food, hygiene, sanitation and medical care.

    In November last year, the City Council of the City of Bihac approved the location of Lipa as the only one owned by the City of Bihac to establish a temporary reception center for migrants, Klix.ba news portal reports.

    The settlement should contain 1,106 containers. According to the plan document, Camp Lipa should have 728 migrant housing containers, 252 sanitary containers, 126 administrative containers that will house police, the Red Cross, medical teams, registration area, NGOs and media, and a central kitchen with dining room. There is also space for entertaining, education and recreation.

    The future camp would be located on an area of nearly 83,000 square meters.

    Containers contain windows, parquet floors and everything that migrants need for a comfortable stay, and the outside is decorated in a variety of colors. A recreation area, walks and rest area with trees and benches are also provided. The kitchen will cover an area of nearly 18 thousand square meters. It is also important to emphasize that men will be separated of from woman and children.

    There are already existing roads to this location, but it is necessary to build 4,5 thousand meters of internal roads and to provide water, electricity and sewage.

    It is still unknown when construction will begin, but it is known that it should do so as soon as a new migrant wave is expected in the spring. Camp Lipa is located between Bosanski Petrovac and Bihać.

    The site could be accepted by the European Commission, given that it is city-owned and remote from populated areas.

    The problem could possibly be posed by the Republic of Croatia, given that this village is near the border with that country.

    https://www.sarajevotimes.com/relocation-of-migrants-to-newly-opened-reception-camp-on-83000-square

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Migrants in Lipa Message That Serbs Are Not Welcome

    The construction of a migrant centre in the Serb village of Lipa near Bihać is a message that Serbs are not welcome in the Federation of BiH /FBiH/, says Serb deputy to the House of Peoples of the FBiH Parliament, Goran Broćeta.

    “The fact that the FBiH authorities managed to construct, in a very short time, an urban settlement for migrants in the Serb village of Lipa is a clear indication that they are only efficient when it comes to usurpation and destruction of Serb property in the FBiH,” Broćeta told SRNA.

    He notes that, on the other hand, a series of problems Serb returnees have been facing across the Federation of BiH will never be included in the agenda.

    “As they call it, the reception centre is the most humane refuge for migrants so far, so we can rightly doubt that it may be a permanent solution. However, pre-war residents were sent a clear message that they no longer have anything to look for there, while the rest of us will wonder what tomorrow will bring and whether Drvar, Grahovo or Glamoč might be new sites for accommodating migrants to finally break the most homogeneous Serb territory in the FBiH,” Broćeta emphasizes.

    He condemns the construction of a migrant centre in the Serb village of Lipa.

    “We would not allow them to do it if they did not insidiously, away from the public eye, take and advantage of the current situation in BiH,” Broćeta added.

    The International Organisation for Migration announced today that the Lipa camp near Bihać is ready for the reception for up to 1,000 migrants and refugees.

    The Committee for Serb Rights Protection in the FBiH said earlier that it was inadmissible to set up a migrant centre in the Serb village of Lipa, surrounded by Serb-populated villages.

    http://thesrpskatimes.com/migrants-in-lipa-message-that-serbs-are-not-welcome

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane #Serbes #Retour

  • Group of 120 migrants relocated to newly opened camp near Bihac

    A group of 120 migrants who underwent a triage examination for the new coronavirus have been relocated to the newly constructed migrant camp Lipa, situated between northwestern Bosnian towns of Bihac and Bosanski Petrovac, the authorities confirmed on Tuesday.

    "Today we accomplished only the first phase of this process of relocation of people who did not have any accommodation in the city of Bihac. We will continue to continuously work every day to relocate all people from abandoned buildings and streets and provide them with dignified living conditions,” said Mustafa Ruzic, the Prime Minister of Una Sana Canton whose administrative centre is Bihac.

    Campsite beneficiaries will be provided with necessities of life in a locality away from the urban area of Bihac, which will significantly improve the safety and epidemiological situation in the town, he added.

    http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a427323/Group-of-120-migrants-relocated-to-newly-opened-camp-near-Bihac.html

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • New camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    In Bosnia, local authorities in the northwest Una-Sana canton ordered the mandatory relocation of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers sleeping outdoors into a temporary camp currently under construction near the village of Lipa, some 25 kilometers from the Croatian border.

    Authorities have since agreed to have the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Danish Refugee Council manage the new camp on behalf of the government.

    An estimated 3,000 of those who are trying to make their way into the EU through Croatia are squatting in abandoned buildings or sleeping outdoors in the region, while another 4,100 are accommodated in facilities managed by IOM.

    “IOM is trying their best to create dignified conditions and ensure adequate access to health and other support services. However, the camps remain overcrowded and unfit for prolonged stay,” said Jelena Sesar, a researcher at Amnesty International.

    People who did not enter the official camps during the winter months cannot effectively self-isolate and are often barred from health institutions available to ordinary citizens.

    “The [Bosnian] state authorities for the past two years have done next to nothing to deal with the migrant crisis in the country and have practically left the Una-Sana canton to deal on its own with the flow of refugees,” Sesar told EURACTIV.

    Bosnian authorities have previously come under heavy criticism by civil rights groups for the Vucjak camp, built on a former landfill near the Croatian border in an area with landmines from the 1990s war, where migrants lived without heating, running water or toilets.

    Last December, authorities dismantled the Vucjak camp and transferred hundreds of people who were living at the site to a new camp near Sarajevo.

    Bosnia closes ’jungle’ migrant camp
    Bosnia on Wednesday (11 December) dismantled tents at the makeshift migrant camp known as the “jungle” for its harsh conditions, after transferring hundreds of people who were living at the site to Sarajevo.

    However, human rights organisations remain concerned about the capacity of Bosnian authorities to support the increasing number of refugees and migrants arriving into the country.

    “It’s simply difficult to see how now, in the crisis conditions, the local government is going to get organised so quickly and in a week do something that they have not been able to do over the past two years,” said Sesar.

    Authorities are procuring 40 tents which are each able to accommodate up to 50 people.

    “Such tents are already used in other camps. They don’t offer much privacy and there’s certainly no place for self-isolation or social distancing, the measures that are necessary to reduce the spread of the virus,” Sesar warned.

    Another issue is the safe transport of thousands of refugees to the new site while keeping distancing measures to prevent new infections.

    “At a time when governments across Europe have started thinking about releasing people from migration detention in order to decongest these areas where people are confined together and therefore at greater risk, Bosnia is doing the opposite,” said Sesar.

    “While finding adequate housing for refugees and migrants sleeping outdoors is certainly welcome and necessary, Bosnian authorities must ensure that this new camp gives maximum protection by providing access to clean water, sanitation and essential healthcare, as well as resources to ensure necessary physical distancing.”

    The EU on Wednesday (8 April) announced a €15.6 billion support package for foreign countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with €2.8 billion earmarked for research, health and water systems, which includes supporting equal access to health systems for migrants, refugees and host communities.

    However, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell confirmed that “there is no fresh money,” and that funding will come from reallocation of existing funds and programmes.

    EU unveils €15bn COVID rescue plan, but includes no new money
    The EU unveiled on Wednesday (8 April) a support package worth €15.6 billion for African and other partner countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but conceded that it includes no new money.

    Inside the bloc, the EU has been pushing to relocate vulnerable migrants to hotels and accommodation that are currently left empty during the pandemic.

    “What we should do now is to immediately evacuate the most vulnerable individuals out of these camps so that they can be secured in hotel rooms or apartments and not be affected if the virus breaks out in these camps,” home affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told Deutsche Welle.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/refugees-left-behind-in-coronavirus-crisis-aid-groups-warn

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Migrants Sleeping Rough in Bosnia Moved to Camp With Medical Services

    Migrants who were previously squatting in abandoned buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina began moving into a temporary camp near Bihać on April 21 as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, UN officials said. Peter Van der Auweraert, Western Balkans Coordinator for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), tweeted video from the camp at Lipa, saying the new guests would have access to shelter, doctors, food, and new clothes. The camp, which can reportedly accommodate up to 1,000 people, was erected with funds from the European Union and the United States, Van der Auweraert said. According to Bosnia news agency Fena, police were prioritizing migrants sleeping in abandoned buildings and on the streets of Bihać. All migrants passed through a “disinfection tunnel” and were screened for COVID-19 and other illnesses with the help of local Red Cross teams, Van der Auweraert added. Following the initiative of the Bihać City authorities and due to the need to establish additional accommodation for migrants and refugees who were stranded in different types of informal accommodation throughout the Una-Sana Canton, the emergency tent camp Lipa is ready to accommodate up to 1,000 persons following the finalization of the preparatory and construction works on site. Credit: Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM via Storyful

    https://www.news.com.au/national/migrants-sleeping-rough-in-bosnia-moved-to-camp-with-medical-services/video/9b49a6c59b3f5777539bb2705a8df776

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • USC police have begun relocating migrants to the Lipa camp near BIhać

    BIHAĆ, April 21 (FENA) - The police of the Una-Sana Canton (USC) this morning has begun the operation of relocating migrants to a newly opened reception camp at Lipa site, located between Bihać and Bosanski Petrovac.

    As announced, the police will primarily escort and transport migrants staying in abandoned facilities and on the streets of Bihać.

    Police officers are currently relocating more than a hundred people who have previously stayed at the stadium of the Jedinstvo Football Club and the nearby city promenade in Bihać. It has also been confirmed that medical teams have been engaged that will conduct a triage when entering the Lipa camp.

    Following the initiative of the Bihać City authorities and due to the need to establish additional accommodation for migrants and refugees who were stranded in different types of informal accommodation throughout the Una-Sana Canton, the emergency tent camp Lipa is ready to accommodate up to 1,000 persons following the finalization of the preparatory and construction works on site.

    After the initial funding provided from the budget of the City of Bihać, the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided financial assistance to establish an isolation camp where the migrants and refugees, who have been previously without medical care, will be attended.

    This is particularly relevant because of the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Emergency tent camp Lipa is equipped with all necessary infrastructure to provide the beneficiaries with basic humanitarian needs in the form of accommodation, food, hygiene, sanitation and medical care.

    http://fena.ba/article/1149995/usc-police-have-begun-relocating-migrants-to-the-lipa-camp-near-bihac

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp #Lipa #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Migrants Sleeping Rough in Bosnia Moved to Camp With Medical Services

    Migrants who were previously squatting in abandoned buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina began moving into a temporary camp near Bihać on April 21 as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, UN officials said.

    Peter Van der Auweraert, Western Balkans Coordinator for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), tweeted video from the camp at Lipa, saying the new guests would have access to shelter, doctors, food, and new clothes. The camp, which can reportedly accommodate up to 1,000 people, was erected with funds from the European Union and the United States, Van der Auweraert said.

    According to Bosnia news agency Fena, police were prioritizing migrants sleeping in abandoned buildings and on the streets of Bihać.

    All migrants passed through a “disinfection tunnel” and were screened for COVID-19 and other illnesses with the help of local Red Cross teams, Van der Auweraert added.

    Following the initiative of the Bihać City authorities and due to the need to establish additional accommodation for migrants and refugees who were stranded in different types of informal accommodation throughout the Una-Sana Canton, the emergency tent camp Lipa is ready to accommodate up to 1,000 persons following the finalization of the preparatory and construction works on site. Credit: Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM via Storyful

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/migrants-sleeping-rough-bosnia-moved-181812508.html

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #camp #Lipa #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Bosnia Herzegovina: Bosnian Serbs protest new migrant camp

    Political representatives of the Federation’s Bosnian Serb community have called on the authorities of the Una-Sana Canton not to build a camp for migrants on the basis that the mostly Muslim immigrants will pose a threat to them.

    There is already a migrant center in the Federation near Bihac, the largest town in Una-Sana, but approximately 3,000 migrants are currently without accommodations. The authorities want to expedite the building of a new tent camp for them due to fears about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a report at Balkan Insight.

    The proposed camp would be constructed near the village of Lipa, where ethnic Serbs who returned following the Bosnian War in the 1990s reside. It’s possible that the camp could be set up within the next few days, once tents and basic utilities are provided.

    The Serbs believe that the migrants, many of whom are Muslim, would pose a threat to their livelihoods and way of life. Also, many of the Serbs themselves live under rough conditions, and would not appreciate seeing resources given to people who are not even in the country legally.

    Djordje Radanovic, the Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Serb Rights in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that such a camp would be an “insult” to Serbs, adding that “bringing migrants from Bihac to Lipa would further worsen the situation in the village and discourage the possible return of Serbs, because local authorities have not yet provided them with basic necessities for a normal life.”

    The Committee has filed a criminal complaint against Bihac’s Mayor, Sufret Fazlic, for proposing the new camp. Others have said that the local authorities do not have the power to order such a camp to be built in the first place. Fazlic has responded that the measure is necessary in order to prevent the migrants from spreading the coronavirus to the local population.

    Like most of Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina is already under lockdown in response to the pandemic. Last week, the Federation’s Minister of Security ordered authorities to begin removing migrants from the streets and relocate them to reception centers, as previously reported by Voice of Europe.

    https://voiceofeurope.com/2020/03/bosnia-herzegovina-bosnian-serbs-protest-new-migrant-camp

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #camp #Lipa #Xénophobie #Retour #Serbes #Unasanacanton #Fédérationcroatomusulmane

  • Global Detention Project - 3 avril 2020

    According to the UN, although the number of COVID-19 cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still considered manageable (under 500 as of 1 April) “the infection rate is rising fast and is expected to peak in the coming weeks. The authorities have taken measures to prevent the spread of the disease nationwide, such as curfews and school closures, as well as restrictions on movement in and out of the reception centres.”

    Bosnia and Herzegovina operates one dedicated immigration detention centre, near Sarajevo, which has been criticized for having inadequate conditions, including use of solitary confinement, lack of access to recreation, no provision of legal aide, and failure to undertake age assessments. The country is also notorious for the terrible conditions at its reception centres, which the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants called “inhuman” after his visit to the country in October 2019

    In Bosnia, authorities ordered the transfer of thousands of migrants to a remote camp in Lipa due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. A new camp was constructed a few days later, but there is concern over access to water, heat and electricity. Authorities have imposed a complete restriction on the movement of migrants beyond temporary reception facilities. The camp is expected to host at least 2,000 people for the time being, and 50 tents are already being set up. According to some sources, migrants will not be able to leave the camp which will be under surveillance by Bosnian police forces. An estimated 3000 migrants are currently living in cramped conditions in abandoned buildings or disused train stations.

    https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/covid-19-immigration-detention-platform

    #Covid-19 #Migrants #Migrations #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #camp

  • AYS Weekend Digest 18–19/4/20

    FEATURED
    During this weekend a tragic incident happened at the Vial camp on Chios.
    Please, read about it in our latest AYS Special, based on the statements and accounts by people on the ground at the time and residents of the camp.
    AYS Special from Chios: Fire swallows up makeshift homes of thousands
    The results of last night’s huge fires and damages in Vial camp are laid bare this morning. The protests happened after…
    medium.com
    There were big fires in a number of different areas. One was near the front of the camp where the shop, the police kiosk and at least two police cars were burned down. In the middle of the official camp the information & food distribution point were set ablaze, as well as the food stores. At the back of the camp, perhaps the most devastating fire occurred. At least three of the larger ‘Rubb Hall’ enclosures, which can accommodate well over 40 people, were burned down. People’s homes have been completely destroyed, almost all of their personal belongings aside from what they could salvage are gone.
    Three asylum seekers were arrested under a suspicion they are responsible for the violent incidents that broke out on Saturday following the start of the fire. Reportedly, the police said that a large number of people are detained.

    BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
    There are many people still scattered across the country’s towns and villages, without a proper reception facility, those who are outside the system due to the system’s capacities find their own way of going through every day. They sleep in abandoned houses, outside in the open, in train wagons, whatever is at hand in these difficult days when everyone sees another person as a possible life threat. The current situation in many places still seeks a proper, humane and realistic (in terms of capacities and conditions) coordinated approach in order to be sure it is assessed and approached in the best way. It is not about the international standards, at this point, it is still about people needing food, and their basic rights met and their dignity respected.
    The first people were planned to be taken to the provisional tent settlement near Bihać, Lipa, built with the support and management of the international organisations, a project we wrote previously about and we will report about the plan being put into practice.
    Although many see it as a step forward, we like to always remind that “international standards” stand for a MINIMUM level of standards when it comes to international aid and protection and it should serve as a warning of a line never to be reached, or even crossed, and not as a goal, as it seems to be interpreted more and more by those deciding and putting things into place.

    https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-weekend-digest-18-19-4-20-vial-fire-latest-in-line-to-confirm-that-evacu

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Grèce #Camp #Chios #Vial #Incendie #Révolte #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Squat #Lipa #Bihac

  • AYS Daily Digest 14/04/20

    GREECE
    #Kos
    Two days ago, people finally received their cash card top up. Normally, they receive financial assistance at the beginning of the month, as do most people in Greece, but due to the Corona restrictions, it was late this month. A lot of people needed to go shopping as they were running out of food, but only 65 people are currently allowed to go out at one time. There are currently over a thousand people in the camp, which has become more crowded since they moved the people camping outside to within the walls of the hotspot. As a result the situation escalated and the police beat both the women and the men to separate the groups.

    #Ritsona
    With 14 more days of quarantine, the people in Ritsona have no way to protect themselves. Seven out of ninety have already tested positive in the community.

    #Thessaloniki
    Mobile Info Team has recorded information from 30 homeless people on the move in Thessaloniki who were fined by the police under the “movement restrictions.” One person has been fined as often as 5 times, another two people, 4 times each. These people have nowhere to live, nowhere to go and the government who refuses to assist them sends its law enforcement officers to fine them?

    #Lesbos
    Fascist violence has been escalating over the past few weeks and on April 8th they burned down the home of refugees living outside Moria. Mare Liberum spoke with two of the men who were living there.
    The latest fire in #Moria caused a lot of devastating destruction.
    Luckily, the White Helmets have begun cleaning up the area, trying to make conditions better and cleaner for residents.
    Seawatch is working to send 1000 masks to Lesvos to try to curb the outbreak.
    #Incendie #Xenophobie

    #Chios
    The Ministry of Immigration and Asylum signed a contract today to lease a property in the ALITHEIA complex, in #Lefkonia-Kontari area of ​​Chios, for the creation of a space for the stay of the newcomers.
    The rent for a period of seven months amounts to 46,200 EURO, with the possibility of extending the lease, and the property will operate as a place of residence for newly arrived immigrants. This is supposedly all done in an effort to disperse the impact of the Corona pandemic. The impetus for the decision was stated as:
    “For reasons of urgency and unpredictability that are not the fault of the Greek State, as well as for reasons of security, public order and public interest, with attention to the need to take the necessary measures to protect public health and society as a whole.”

    #Samos
    Some good news out of Samos today. A young Syrian boy’s family reunification case was accepted! Hassan* will be able to join his older brother in the UK. The pictures below were taken by Hassan himself and demonstrate the dire conditions in the camps.

    #Transfert #Mineurs #Enfants
    This afternoon 20 minors were taken from Moria Camp to the harbor of Piraeus (Athens). They should reach Germany by the 18th.

    Human Rights Watch is calling for hundreds of migrant children who are in Greece without parents or relatives and in immigration detention to be moved to child friendly housing. HRW say they are currently at a heightened risk for contracting COVID-19.

    Human rights violations including illegal pushbacks continue occurring at the Greece-Turkey border. Read MIT’s report co-authored with No Name Kitchen and Border Violence Monitoring Network for more information on the update situation.

    BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

    The changing weather has just added to the number of difficulties people on the move face while stuck in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As there is no public transport at their disposal and no freedom of movement for them, getting from one place to another is extremely difficult. Most of the people are left out on their own (if they are not forced into provisional campsite like #Lipa near #Bihac), only some have managed to stay in private accommodation under different conditions and circumstances, while many are stuck in different hardships of the official camps run by international organisations, and German Civil Protection (Technisches Hilfswerk) in the case of recently infamous #Blazuj camp. Those who bother to go the extra step and show humane treatment to these people in transit through Bosnia and Herzegovina more than often see images of despair among these people who now also often carry the stigma of potential health risk in the context of coronavirus, although no infected people have been reported among all those people throughout the country.

    https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-14-04-2020-left-to-fend-for-themselves-europes-unspoken-migration-policy

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Grèce #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp

  • CDB

    BOSNIE-HERZÉGOVINE : UN CAMP D’URGENCE OUVRE PRÈS DE LA FRONTIÈRE CROATE
    20 avril - 15h :Selon l’Organisation internationale des migrations, le camp d’urgence de Lipa est prêt à ouvrir. Situé à une trentaine de kilomètre de Bihać, ce centre pourra héberger jusqu’à mille personnes dans de grandes tentes collectives. L’objectif : accueillir les migrants qui survivaient dans les squats ou les bois du canton d’Una Sana, à la frontière avec la Croatie.

    Les fonds nécessaires à la construction de ce camp d’isolement ont été fournis par la ville de Bihać, l’Union européenne et l’Agence des États-Unis pour le développement international (USAID). L’objectif est d’y fournir un suivi médical aux migrants face à l’épidémie de coronavirus et de rassurer la population locale. Aucun cas de covid-19 n’a été enregistré pour le moment parmi les migrants examinés en Bosnie-Herzégovine.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Les-dernieres-infos-Refugies-Balkans-Bosnie-Herzegovine-un-nouvea

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Lipa #Camp #Bihac #UnaSanaCanton

  • InfoPark
    15 – 21 April 2020
    Weekly Flashback

    Serbia
    ➢ A heavy presence of police and military troops continued in and around centers in Serbia, failing to yield any improvement of the situation. Some of the recent repressive actions can only be described as an open intimidation of migrants without
    any clear reason and against international humanitarian laws – using surveillance drones flying low above the tents or parading with heavy vehicles in camps both during the day and during the night.

    ➢ During his visit to Obrenovac RTC on April 16, Serbian Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin stated that migrants present a security and health risk to Serbian citizens, stressing that the camps will remain locked until the end of pandemic, guarded by the Serbian Army. Soon after, Obrenovac migrants demolished an internal CCTV system installed for camp’s surveillance, continuing tense relations
    with the authorities.

    ➢ According to local media, another massive incident occurred on Easter Sunday in Adasevci Reception Center when approx. 50 migrants tried to leave (as an act of nonviolent protest). This protest also came as a result of dissatisfaction over being locked in overcrowded government run centers, inadequate services and in this case,
    repeated complaints over poor food quality. The riot was halted when an officer of the Serbian Armed Forces fired warning bullets into the air. This is the second time that live bullets were used in Serbian camps against non-armed refugees and migrants in the state of emergency.

    ➢ In the 7th week of COVID-19 outbreak, the centers are not yet capable of fulfilling the universal recommendations on social distancing, quarantine requirements and
    voluntary isolation.

    ➢ A boat with migrants capsized on the Serbia-Romania border last week, according to Romanian police. Allegedly, the boat carried 2 Serbian smugglers and 16 migrants of different origins (Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine). Two persons drowned,
    eight were reported missing and eight were rescued. Official report on the incident has yet to be issued, however it has been shown once again how illegal movement through Serbia is still very strong despite the lockdown.

    ➢ Deutsche Welle (DW) in Serbia reported on a mysterious international agreement between Austria and Serbia, which allegedly gives an option to Austria to return rejected asylum seekers on behalf they have previously passed through Serbia and their deportation to countries of origin is not possible. The Austrian Ministry of Interior confirmed that there is such a “working agreement” However, details have
    been marked as secret and it is unclear whether or not the agreement has been implemented so far. Info Park expects this information to cause additional stir on Serbian political scene, since several right wing, anti migrant parties were accusing the government of “a secret agreement” between Austria and Serbia that has now
    been formally confirmed. The right-wing groups accused Serbian authorities of secretly implementing the agreement in the first days of camps lockdown, bringing busloads of migrants from Austria to RTCs overnight. No reaction from the Serbian officials was noted so far.

    ➢ Serbia faced the longest general lockdown of 84 hours during the weekend. Results of fight against COVID-19 on Monday, 20 April, in Serbia are: Confirmed cases - 6,630, Deaths - 125, total number of tested people: 41,812. None of the 8,900 refugees, asylum seekers or migrants in Serbia have tested positive for COVID-19.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    ➢ Although displacement of asylum seekers and other migrants to the new camp Lipa near Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was announced in March, it has not yet occurred. However, according to local B&H media, the first migrants should be accommodated this week, due to the coronavirus crisis. Fifty tents in total were erected on this site, which should accommodate 1,000 migrants.

    Greece
    ➢ Following the closure of the migrant camps due to coronavirus pandemic, the restrictions on the movement of refugees and migrants thought Greece have been extended until 10 May. Meanwhile, a fire destroyed parts of one of Greece’s largest migrant camps on the Aegean island of Chios. The fire tore through Vial camp
    destroying some accommodation and administrative facilities leaving a few hundred homeless. Three migrants have been arrested, according to Infomigrants portal.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Serbie #Grèce #Camp #Obrenovac #Adasevci #Roumanie #Lipa #Bihac #Chios #Vial #Révolte #Incendie #Accordderéadmission #Autriche

  • (Google Translation - original BCS] 

    Stuck in BiH: Thousands of people without housing, food and medical assistance

    Several thousand people are currently sleeping on the streets of Bihac, abandoned houses and former factories. There is no place for them at Camp Bira, and they survive with the help of locals and volunteers who organize themselves to provide them with food.

    Several thousand people are currently sleeping on the streets of Bihac, abandoned houses and former factories. There is no place for them at Camp Bira, and they survive with the help of locals and volunteers who organize themselves to provide them with food.

    One of the largest squats is located near Camp Bira. At the time the eTrafika team visited them, about 120 men were staying there. The spacious, abandoned two-story building is a temporary home for people from Pakistan, Agvanistan, Bangladesh… While some of them absorb sunlight in the open, others prepare lunch. We came without notice or acquaintance with any of them. We just showed up and asked if it was okay to have a little chat and record the atmosphere inside the building. Without thinking, they agreed and invited us to come in.

    As they make their way around the chicken and rice courts, they tell us that volunteers occasionally visit them and bring them food. However, it is difficult to care for so many people and often not enough for everyone.

    Here one knows who is doing what, while some are burning, others are chopping onions, cleaning potatoes, or kneading bread. They ask us if we like rice and then pour it into bowls and give it to us. None of them wants to stay here, but because of closed borders, they are currently “stuck” in BiH.

    We also attended a farewell from a group of guys who went into the games (illegal border crossing). With large backpacks full of clothing and food for a ten-day walk, they searched for their friends in a crowd, then hugged them for a long time in greeting. This may be the last time they are seen live.

    Across the city, people are moving around abandoned homes, about a dozen in each. They buy food at a nearby market or bring it to volunteers. All have repeatedly tried to cross the Croatian border and most have similar experiences.

    “Croatian police take away all our belongings - phones, external batteries, sleeping bags, backpacks with food… They even force us to take off our shoes and jackets and then bring us back to BiH. Sometimes they beat us, sometimes they don’t. They didn’t touch me last time, "a young man from Pakistan tells us.

    While they have no problems with the locals and the police, conflicts arise between them.

    “Recently, a group of almost 20 Afghans came in for us overnight. They all had knives. They robbed us, but they did not hurt us. They took almost all the phones, we managed to hide two, ”he says.

    Thirty kilometers further, in the settlement Tržac on the border with Croatia, the situation is almost identical, the difference is only in the number of people. In one of the abandoned houses we found a group of eight Pakistanis. Most of them want to go to Italy, while one young man is planning to reach Spain.

    A young man from Pakistan
    "I have been in BiH for two years, I tried to cross the border 30 times. I was caught once by the Slovenian police and 29 times by the Croatian police. They beat me up and took all the things I had. They even made me take off my shoes and then they lit it all up. Pakistan is a good country, but there is no business there, so I want to get to Spain. Some people are good here and some are not. The police are fine, they don’t touch us. The locals are really good, they give us flour, oil and milk, ”he tells us.

    The locals we spoke with did not want to be filmed, but emphasized that they never had any problems with the people on the move.

    “They take the water, charge the phones a little and that’s it,” an elderly woman we met near the house where people on the move are staying tells us.

    Her neighbor points out that she has never had an awkward situation with them.

    “Sometimes they come in front of the house, but they do not enter the yard. There was never a problem with them, they did not attack us. They look for abandoned houses where they can sleep, ”he explains.

    So does her neighbor Suleiman.

    "When they see which house is empty, that’s where they are. When we meet on the street there are no problems. I was a refugee and I understand them all, ”he emphasizes as he tidies up the yard.

    In Sturlic, about 40 kilometers from Bihac, we met a young man from Libya named Ejub (35). As he tells us, he left home two years ago because of the war and reached BiH via Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. It combined hiking and bus rides. Here he sleeps under the open sky.

    "Our country is destroyed by war, you have no chance of a stable life and we are forced to look for it somewhere else. I’ve been in BiH for about two months. First I was in Sarajevo, so we came to Kladusa and then to Bihac. The campsites are full, there is no place for us. There are already more people there than beds. We sleep outside, we have no shelter, not even a tent. There are five of us traveling together. Our plan is to try to cross the border again. I want to get to Belgium, I have a family there. I have completed master studies in information technology. I hope to find a job in Belgium and make my living, ”he says.

    Young men from Libya
    So far, he has tried twice to cross the border, but has been caught and taken back by police and seized items he had with him. He has a very good opinion of the locals.

    "Bosnians are good people, so far I have not met badly or had a problem with anyone. When you respect them, they respect you too. And the police are fine. When you register and give them your fingerprints for identification, they will not touch you. However, some refugees pose problems, ”he stresses.

    During this time, marketers in Bihać make it clear that people on the move are not welcome at their facilities.

    In order to remove people from the street and from abandoned buildings, a tent camp for 1,000 people was set up in the village of Lipa 20 kilometers from Bihac. The financiers are the City of Bihac, the European Union and USAID, who point out that everything is done according to international standards. On the other hand, volunteers warn that a new Wolf is preparing, an unconditional camp in which people will be separated from civilization. According to officials, the move of people on the move to Camp Lipa is planned for tomorrow.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Transfert #Camp #Lipa #Bihac #Tržac #Bira #Refoulement #Push-Back #Croatie

  • [Google Translation - original, BCS] 

    Today the reception of the first migrants to the new Lipa camp
    04/20/2020
    Although Bihac City Council accepted Lipa as a new location to house migrants in November last year, authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina gave their consent only after the declaration of a coronavirus pandemic in BiH, to move several thousand migrants from the streets of Krajina cities.

    Although the first displacement of migrants was announced in March, it has not yet occurred. According to official announcements, the first migrants are expected to enter the new Lipa camp today, so intensive training is being done to train the camp. 50 tents were erected on this site, which should house 1000 migrants.

    ŠUHRET FAZLIĆ, Mayor of Bihać

    “A project is underway that is certainly the largest construction undertaking in the Balkans. Who hasn’t been up there can’t know what’s going on. Up there is a million investments. 15 days ago, there was only a meadow upstairs; now, up to 1000 migrants are being accommodated, ”said Fazlic.

    Since the authorities do not want the image of Vucjak to be repeated, the opening of the Lipa camp is delayed. The issue of electricity, water and drainage has been resolved and green light from the health sector is still pending.

    According to the Cantonal Institute of Public Health, they receive daily reports from the DRC and IOM on the health status of migrants in reception centers. Migrants will be triaged at the entrance to Lipa and quarantined.

    Epidemiologist ZARINA MULABDIC, Director of the Public Health Institute

    "We are pleased with those found above. It just needs to be done until the end, something about the infrastructure that needs to be supplemented. It will be a great solution, not like Vučjak, to which I have given a negative opinion as an epidemiologist, ”said Mulabdić.

    Lipa is primarily intended for the reception of migrants who are on the streets of Bihać and do not have basic living conditions worthy of a human being.

    MUSTAFA RUZNIC, USK Prime Minister

    “The capacity for now is 1000 migrants. We will see how the situation develops. You saw, it’s a small town by all standards, ”Ruznic said.

    Epidemiologist ZARINA MULABDIC, Director of the Institute of Public Health

    Our goal is to put what we have on the street in Lipa so that we have control, Mulabdić added.

    The Una-Sana Cantonal Ministry of Interior says they are ready to move migrants, both those from the streets of Bihac and those who have a temporary roof over their heads in abandoned buildings.

    NERMIN KLJAJIC, USK Minister of the Interior

    "In this way, we will respect the decision of the Council of Ministers on an absolute ban on movement. I believe that some 400 to 500 migrants can be moved up to that location this week, Kljajic explained.

    The citizens of Bihac are in self-isolation while migrants are free to roam the city streets while waiting for their relocation. Without basic hygiene and health conditions, the threat of widespread coronavirus pandemics is open.

    https://bhrt.ba/1134278/danas-prijem-prvih-migranata-u-novi-kamp-lipa

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Transfert #Camp #Lipa #Bihac

  • Newly formed ’Lipe’ migrant camp will be operational soon (PHOTO)

    Hundreds of migrants from across the northwestern Una-Sana Canton, the area affected the most by the migrant crisis in Bosnia, will be sent to the newly formed ‘Lipe’ migrant camp in the coming days.

    The Civil Protection Headquarters of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) region and the Red Cross in Bihac have already set up 50 tents containing 200 beds.

    “We will soon complete the transit centre for all the migrants who are currently moving freely across towns in the USK, especially Velika Kladusa and Bihac,” said USK Prime Minister, Mustafa Ruznic.

    “We will, together with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Bihac city authorities, the Red Cross, and the USK ministries of interior and health begin moving the migrants,” he said.

    The project cost about two million Bosnian Marks.
    http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a426355/Newly-formed-Lipe-migrant-camp-will-be-operational-soon-PHOTO.html

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp #Lipa #Unasanacanton #Velikakladusa #Bihac #

  • Migrants in Bosnia ‘More Vulnerable to Infection’ Despite Lockdown
    Anja Vladisavljevic and Danijel Kovacevic
    Banja Luka, Zagreb
    BIRN
    March 23, 202006:30

    https://balkaninsight.com/2020/03/23/migrants-in-bosnia-more-vulnerable-to-infection-despite-lockdown

    Many people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are self-isolating at home to protect themselves from the coronavirus, but migrants and refugees living in squatted buildings and tent camps are more vulnerable to infection because they can’t take the same precautions.
    he streets of Banja Luka, the main city in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity, are almost empty. Fear of contracting the coronavirus has caused most people to stay indoors.

    But some people in the city cannot take such precautions because they have fled their homes, and those homes are several thousand kilometres away from Bosnia.

    Not far from Banja Luka’s railway station, BIRN met Feroz, a migrant from Afghanistan, and his friend from Morocco.

    “I spent almost all winter in a tent at the Tuzla train station [in eastern Bosnia]. I can’t do that anymore, I’m going to Bihac [near the Croatian border] and try to cross over to Croatia,” Feroz said.

    Feroz has heard about the coronavirus, but said he is not afraid of it. He said he does not know that a state of emergency has been declared in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Republika Srpska had 29 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection by Thursday, and 23 of them are in Banja Luka.

    The country has introduced emergency measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. All restaurants and cafes are closed, and only grocery stores and pharmacies are still working.

    People here are reminded daily to adhere to the recommended personal hygiene regime, to avoid public gatherings, and not to leave their homes without urgent need.

    Feroz, who left his native Afghanistan three years ago, worries that this might complicate his journey to his preferred destination, Germany.

    “There was a lot of sick in the tents in Tuzla, but I don’t think it’s a corona[virus],” he said.

    Restrictions on movement imposed

    Reception camp Bira near the town of Bihac. Photo: BIRN.

    There are approximately 7,500 registered migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For at least 2,500 of them, there are no places in temporary reception centres set up by the authorities.

    On Wednesday, the government of the Sarajevo Canton, which includes the Bosnian capital and various nearby towns and villages, imposed restrictions on the movement of migrants and ordered them into temporary reception centres.

    “As the existing capacities in temporary reception centres will not be sufficient to accommodate all the migrants located in and moving around the Sarajevo Canton, the government will without delay send the authorities an initiative to establish an additional temporary reception centre (facility, tent settlement, etc) in the canton,” the Sarajevo Canton’s government said in a press release.

    Una-Sana Canton, in the west of the country near the border with Croatia, has been hardest hit by the migrant crisis. On top of this, the first case of coronavirus infection in the area was confirmed on Tuesday.

    As a result, the Una-Sana Canton’s crisis headquarters issued an order on Monday to completely restrict the movement of migrants outside the temporary reception centres in which they are housed.

    Back in Banja Luka, Feroz and his Moroccan companion did not know that in Bihac, where they were planning to go, measures to prohibit the movement of migrants had come into force. They said they would worry about that when they arrive.

    Migrants in squats unmonitored

    Migrants and refugees in front of the reception camp Bira near the town of Bihac. Photo: BIRN.

    There have so far been no indications of coronavirus symptoms at temporary reception centres for migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the International Organisation for Migration, IOM.

    “Preventive measures are being implemented in reception centres in cooperation with the World Health Organisation, the Danish Refugee Council, DRC, and the Institute for Public Health of the Sarajevo Canton,” Edita Selimbegovic, a public information officer at the IOM, told BIRN.

    Selimbegovic added that there are currently enough medical staff in the temporary reception centres.

    But migrants who are living in squatted accommodation or on the streets rather than in temporary reception centres pose a different problem. A significant number of them are in Tuzla in eastern Bosnia, and in the west of the country in the Una-Sana Canton, close to Croatia.

    “We lack the capacity to adequately accommodate all migrants who are outside the temporary reception centres and have control over them at the centres to avoid them being infected,” Selimbegovic said.

    The contruction of tent camp on the “Lipa” site, between Bihac and Bosanski Petrovac, began on Saturday, and iz is expected to accommodate migrants and refugees who are on the streets.

    “We received the support of the Security Ministry, the Federal Government and immediately we started to set up a tent settlement. The primary goal of everything we do is the protect of epidemiological and health situation in the town, but also to find more humane accommodation for these people,” Bihac mayor Suhret Fazlic said on Saturday.

    IPSIA, an Italian NGO that has been working in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1997 and is now helping migrants and refugees, warned that migrants in squats and improvised camps could end up living in dangerous conditions.

    “Migrants inside the camps do not understand what is going on, at the moment they are more confused than angry,” ISPIA told BIRN.

    Migrants trying to get to EU countries also do not know that coronavirus-related restrictions on movement are in force there too, ISPIA added.

    “Migrants are also not aware that even if they get to Slovenia or Italy they are not free to move inside these countries, we know that many are stuck in Trieste [in Italy] and at the moment in that city, the reception centres are full or in quarantine too,” it said.

    Meanwhile Bosnia and Herzegovina’s border police are warning that the influx of migrants can be expected to increase soon.

    “On the one hand, there is the warmer weather, and on the other, the fact that Turkey has opened its borders [for migrants to leave for the EU],” border police spokesperson Franka Vican told BIRN.

    “We do not have enough police or the technical means to control the border itself. The border police are lacking 401 police officers to carry out regular activities. In the extraordinary circumstances as they are now, another 1,200 police officers are needed to effectively guard the Bosnian state border,” Vican added.

    ‘No one is safe until we are all protected’

    Reception camp Bira near the town of Bihac. Photo: BIRN.

    A group of activists involved in the Transbalkan Solidarity Group published an open letter on Wednesday with some 500 signatures, urging the European Union and countries in the region to take care of refugees and migrants who are “stuck in our countries”.

    They warned that currently there are tens of thousands of refugees and migrants in the Balkans – some of them accommodated in official reception centres, but “a large number of people fall outside the system, surviving through the help of the local population and support provided to them by volunteers throughout the region”.

    With the spread of the coronavirus, refugees and migrants’ situation “is becoming even more challenging and demands urgent action of those in charge – local and international actors – and solidarity from all of us”, they said.

    “This is required of us out of elementary humanity as well as the basic logics of public health because no one is safe until we are all protected,” their letter concluded.

    As for Feroz, the migrant from Afghanistan who is currently in Banja Luka, he insisted that will continue his journey to Germany if he can – whatever happens with the coronavirus.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Squat #Republikasrpska #Banjaluka #Tuzla #Bihac #Croatie #sarajevocanton #unasanacanton #lipa

    • Autre petit conseil (un par jour) : le post est beaucoup plus lisible si tu mets le titre en gras et le texte que tu cites en italique... voir petits boutons en haut à droite de l’espace du post...