Migrants in the Balkans are reportedly exploring new routes to enter the EU, as the number of irregular border crossings from the Una-Sana Canton in the west of Bosnia and Herzegovina into Croatia has been decreasing.
According to numbers provided to the Euractiv media network by government bodies and local police in western Bosnia, there are currently about 2,800 irregular migrants in that part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Croatian government-owned Hina news agency said that most of the migrants come from African and Asian countries, according to police data. Roughly a third of the migrants stay in three official reception centers in the region, while more than 1,800 live in makeshift accommodation in the towns of Bihac, Cazin and Velika Kladusa. There also are tent camps along the border with Croatia, where some migrants remain.
Read more: IOM reports on migrant flows in Bosnia
Controls and checks along border
Adnan Beganovic, ministry of the interior spokesman for the Una-Sana, told a local newspaper that local police continue to prevent the arrival of new migrants by controlling the roads that lead into that region.
"Currently, the number of migrants leaving Una-Sana Canton is higher than the number of migrants arriving here. Those who do not manage to cross the border into Croatia are returning to Sarajevo or Serbia and looking for another route to reach Western European countries," Beganovic said.
He added that in 2021, authorities prevented the arrival of around 17,000 migrants, adding that this is the reason why the number of arrivals in Croatia along that route has been declining.
With Euractiv, Hina