A group of migrants attempting to cross into Croatia and gathering around tents erected near the Maljevac border crossing in Bosnia-Herzegovina | Photo: EPA/FEHIM DEMIR
A group of migrants attempting to cross into Croatia and gathering around tents erected near the Maljevac border crossing in Bosnia-Herzegovina | Photo: EPA/FEHIM DEMIR

The Bosnian government said 21,000 migrants have entered the country since the beginning of the year. The authorities said all of the country's reception centers are full, and they denounced the growing problems of lack of food and medicine.

A total of 21,000 migrants have arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina since the start of the year. Pressure is increasing on the Balkan nation due to logistical and social problems from the growing migratory influx. Nermin Kljajic, the interior minister of the canton of Unsko-Sanski, said the number of migrants who entered the country in the first seven months of 2019 is greater than the number of migrants who arrived in all of 2018.

Unsko-Sanksi is located in the northwest region of the country at the border with Croatia, where the majority of migrants are concentrated while they plan their onward journeys to reach western European countries. Kljajic, citing local media, said the majority of migrants are Afghani, Pakistani, and Moroccan. 

All reception centers full 

Kljajic said all of the country's migrant reception centers are full, and thousands of refugees are on the move, lodging in makeshift shelters. He said the situation is worsening on a daily basis also due to growing problems of lack of food and medicine, and frequent protests by local residents who have denounced theft and harassment by migrants who have been unable to find shelter in reception centres. 

Car chase ends in tragedy in Croatia 

Last weekend, a woman died in Croatia when a van with a group of migrants aboard that was being chased by police fell into the Kupa River near Karlovac, not far from the Bosnia-Herzegovina border. The incident took place overnight between Saturday and Sunday, when a police car tried to stop the van, suspecting there were migrants aboard. Instead of stopping, the van accelerated and tried to flee, but it only travelled for a few minutes before it fell into the river where it sank. 

Police managed to save the 11 people inside, including four children, but one woman died shortly after while she was receiving medical treatment. At the border crossing with Serbia, police stopped three people suspected of belonging to an organization of smugglers, but the driver of the van fled and is still being sought.
 

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