A group of migrants attempting to cross into Croatia gather near the Maljevac border crossing, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Credit: EPA/FEHIM DEMIR
A group of migrants attempting to cross into Croatia gather near the Maljevac border crossing, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Credit: EPA/FEHIM DEMIR

Authorities in Bosnia said more than a thousand irregular migrants have entered the country since the start of the year. They said arrivals are expected to increase significantly in the spring.

Bosnian authorities said there have been 1,045 migrants have illegally entered the country since the start of this year, according to local media reports. They said there are currently 3,900 refugees being hosted in seven reception centers in Bihac, Sarajevo, Mostar, Cazin, and Velika Kladusa. About 24,000 entries were registered in 2018. Given the current number remaining in the country, it is likely that the majority of migrants continued their onward journey towards countries in Western Europe.

Increase expected in spring

A significant increase in migrant arrivals is expected in the spring. Authorities will try to alleviate the pressure on the canton of Bihac, in northwest Bosnia near the border with the EU, Croatia, and Slovenia. It was also decided that migrants who the police determine are likely to commit crimes will be housed in a detention center in east Sarajevo. Police priorities include strengthening checks at the border with Serbia and Montenegro to reduce entries, and the use of an additional 100 border police officers.

 

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