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News > Bosnia and Herzegovina

900 Migrants Face Winter Without Shelter in Bosnia

  • A refugee walks through the Lipa camp in northwestern Bosnia, near the border with Croatia. Dec. 26, 2020.

    A refugee walks through the Lipa camp in northwestern Bosnia, near the border with Croatia. Dec. 26, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @ApolideL

Published 31 December 2020
Opinion

They are surviving in the rubble of the Lipa camp, which was destroyed by a fire on Dec. 23.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) asked the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina to offer accommodation to 900 migrants whose lives are in danger because of freezing temperatures.

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These people are exposed to hypothermia and their situation worsens day by day amid the winter cold, local television RTV USK reported.

"Staying out in the open in these conditions is unacceptable. The lack of urgent action by the authorities poses a serious danger to the people's safety and lives," the UN agencies said.

These refugees and asylum seekers are surviving in the rubble of the Lipa camp, which was destroyed by a fire on Dec. 23. This week, the attempt to transfer them to other reception centers failed because of the rejection of local authorities.

On Wednesday, 20 buses that waited for two days to evacuate the migrants left without their passengers. The migrants went back to sleep in the open.

Meanwhile, the authorities and some citizens of the cities of Bihac and Bradina, where the migrants were planned to be accommodated, gathered in front of the reception centers to prevent the refugees from arriving.

Despite opposition from the local authorities, the Bosnian Government decided to house the migrants in the Bira to avoid a worsening of their situation.

However, the refugees still remain in Lipa without access to clean water, electricity, or heating, with freezing temperatures and amid the pandemic.

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