Over 9,000 migrants enter BiH so far this year: minister


SARAJEVO, July 25 (Xinhua) — More than 9,000 migrants have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) since the beginning of this year, the country’s Security Minister Dragan Mektic revealed here on Wednesday.

At a press conference, Mektic said that some 3,000 migrants currently reside on BiH territory, and the rest used BiH as a transit country en route to the European Union (EU) countries.

“We have been focusing on two key components, one is protection and securing of the country’s border and minimization of the number of migrants entering BiH. The second one is the humanitarian aspect of the crisis in terms that migrants who enter will have an adequate treatment under the international law and conventions that BiH ratified,” Mektic explained.

He highlighted that BiH authorities are in control of the process of migrants on the territory of the country.

With current accommodation facilities in Sarajevo and Mostar, some 130 kilometers southwest of the capital, and four additional ones to be opened in the northern BiH, Mektic said he believed they are enough to accommodate the current number of migrants.

The minister said that the EU had promised 8.5 million euros to BiH in order to handle the migrants crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through the so-called “Balkan route” in 2015, trying to reach Western Europe. BiH was then not part of that route. However, migrants have turned to BiH in recent months, trying to avoid more heavily-guarded routes and borders in the Balkans.