Borna, Defend Europa, 27 March 2018
A new Balkan route through Bosnia has opened up for migrants: from Greece to Albania, then on to Montenegro and Herzegovina.
This route, according to a western diplomatic source, matches the one taken by weapon and drug traffickers, which reveals that human smuggling networks have also been established.
Paying their way to Europe
One migrant, Ahmed Wessam, who spoke to AFP in Sarajevo, left the northeastern Syrian town of Hassake a month ago after paying people smugglers to get him to Europe.
“A thousand dollars (800 euros) to go from Turkey to Greece, a thousand euros to go from Greece to Albania and so on.” Another example that the people coming to Europe have a choice of where they can go and are not fleeing their country because of prosecution.
According to Bosnian authorities, since the beginning of the year, 700 migrants have entered the country illegally and almost 800 were intercepted at the border. Most of them were Syrians, Pakistanis, Libyans, and Afghanis.
Lack of accommodations and resources
The local authorities fear that the end of the cold weather could spell a big spike in numbers.
“We have no capacity to accept thousands of refugees… although they do not want to stay in Bosnia.” Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said.
The Head of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the Balkans, Stephane Moissaing, dismissed concerns of a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis.
The Bosnian authorities, however,…