In 2015, Croatia had to face massive arrivals of migrants coming from the Balkan route. The picture shows migrants waiting to board a train for Zagreb at the railway station in Tovarnik, Eastern Croatia, near the Serbian border. Photo: EPA/ZOLTAN BALOGH
In 2015, Croatia had to face massive arrivals of migrants coming from the Balkan route. The picture shows migrants waiting to board a train for Zagreb at the railway station in Tovarnik, Eastern Croatia, near the Serbian border. Photo: EPA/ZOLTAN BALOGH

A Croatian newspaper has been told that authorities are boosting controls on Croatia's border with Bosnia due to an increase in the number of migrants coming from the country. According to unofficial data, around 5,000 migrants have reached Bosnia in the past few months, mostly from the Middle East and South Asia.

According to the Zagreb daily "Jutarnji list", security officials and border police in Croatia, from central Croatia to Dubrovnik in the southern Adriatic, have been ordered to boost controls due to the growing number of migrants registered in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Concern over growing number 

A well-informed police source at the Croatian border, who asked not to be identified, told the newspaper that, ''although the situation can't be compared to the one registered two or three years ago, it still raises a lot of concern." The interior ministry is planning to buy 60 new jeeps to monitor the long and mountainous Croatian-Bosnian border. 

Since the Balkan route was shut down two years ago, a new itinerary has recently been used across Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Migrants try to cross into Croatia and Slovenia to reach western countries. 

According to unofficial data, some 5,000 migrants have reached Bosnia over the past few months, mostly from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Concentration in Sarajevo 

Slovenian police estimate that between 50,000 and 60,000 migrants are currently in Greece and Albania, while about 100 reach Bosnia daily. Most of them are living at a makeshift tent camp in Sarajevo's city center, in the area of Bihac, not far from the border with Croatia. Here, Croatian territory is very narrow and Bosnia and Slovenia, which are part of the Schengen area, are divided by just 70 km. 

According to Slovenian data, 1,200 people tried to cross the border illegally in this area in the first four months of this year, three times more than in 2017.
 

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