Velika Kladusa, near the Maljevac border crossing in Bosnia Herzegovina, 25 October 2018 | Photo: EPA/F. Demir
Velika Kladusa, near the Maljevac border crossing in Bosnia Herzegovina, 25 October 2018 | Photo: EPA/F. Demir

Residents in the town of Velika Kladusa in Bosnia-Herzegovina have staged an anti-migrant protest. They accused migrants of assaults and violence against the local population.

New protests by the local population against the presence of migrants and refugees took place on Monday in Velika Kladusa, in the far northeast of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the border with Croatia. 


Regional media said hundreds of people blocked a road near a migrant reception center, complaining of harassment and increasing misbehavior by migrants in the city.

Growing harassment by migrants?

Protesters claimed that cases of aggression and intimidation by migrants had multiplied, and that migrants from rival groups often fought or set fire to warehouses or dilapidated buildings where they they were staying.

There are about 1,300 irregular migrants in Velika Kladusa, according to estimates by the authorities, reported by the media. In northwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina along the Croatian border there are more than 7,000 migrants.

Bosnia is a transit country for many migrants and refugees. They are hoping to pass into Croatia and eventually to reach Western European countries such as Italy or Germany.

The Balkan route

The term Balkan route was popularized in 2015, when more than a million Asian and Middle Eastern refugees used this path to reach countries in Western Europe. It refers to the land route from Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria through Balkan countries such as Bosnia, Bulgaria and Serbia. In the past few years, most countries on the Balkan route have significantly increased border controls and barriers.

On several occasions, Bosnian authorities have asked the European Union for help, maintaining that they are unable to cope with the large number of people crossing through the country.
 

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