People from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria rest in a park in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Credit: EPA/FEHIM DEMIR
People from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria rest in a park in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Credit: EPA/FEHIM DEMIR

Bosnian authorities have recently prevented a number of migrants from entering the Republika Srpska, forcing them to continue their journey towards Bihac near the border with Croatia.

Police in Banja Luka, capital of the Republika Srpska (Rs, a Serbian-majority entity of Bosnia), have reportedly not allowed groups of migrants to get off a train from Sarajevo over the past few days. The migrants were forced to continue their trip to Bihac, in north-west Bosnia, not far from the border with Croatia, the website reports. 

Growing number of irregular migrants travel to Bosnia 

Bosnian-Serb police moreover reportedly forced a group of 15 migrants to take a train to Bihac. An additional 55 migrants, who had entered Bosnia illegally from Serbia, were apprehended in the area of Bijeljina, in the country's north-east. The number of migrants entering illegally, mostly from Serbia, has reportedly grown over the past few days. They cross the border in the area of Bijeljina and Zvornik and reach the nearby Bosnian city of Tuzla, where they stay for around 24 hours before taking a bus to Sarajevo. Between 50 and 100 migrants are believed to reach Tuzla on a daily basis. 

Reported 4,500 migrants in Serbia - situation is stable 

Serbia currently has some 4,500 migrants but only about 20 mean to stay in the Balkan country, the Serbian commissioner for refugees, Vladimir Cucic, has told Serbian public television Rts. Their number has remained unvaried since August 2017, he said. Some 4,200 migrants are currently residing in hosting centers and the general situation is not alarming, Cucic told the broadcaster. The migrants include families who have been waiting for a year or two to be allowed to continue their journey legally to an EU country, he said. 

Migrants traveling alone usually remain in Serbia for a period of two-three weeks before leaving the country on their own. The commissioner said border police and customs officials monitor the border against illegal immigration as attempts to enter illegally are expected to increase as the weather improves, the commissioner said.

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