BiH: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the migrant situation in Una-Sana Canton

We are witnessing a serious humanitarian situation involving migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 900 migrants remain without shelter in severe winter conditions after closure of the reception centre in Lipa. This further exacerbates the situation where approximately 3000 migrants are without proper shelter.

The dire situation needs to be urgently addressed by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels. There is a reception centre in Bira set up with 3,5 million euro support from the EU which could provide shelter for the winter months, as stressed also by EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson in her phone calls with the Prime Minister of Una-Sana Canton and the Chair of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The decisions by the Council of Ministers of 21 December and again today, on 31 December, to temporarily reopen this centre must be implemented without any further delay.

The current situation is completely unacceptable and the EU therefore calls on BiH authorities at all levels to address it with maximum urgency and work then further on a longer-term solution, based on shared responsibility.