More than 55.000 migrants and refugees are estimated to have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past two years. Most of these people just go through Bosnia, but, with more and more police on the Croatian and Slovenian border it has become increasingly harder to cross to the EU. Latest predictions say that in the beginning of 2020, another 100.000 migrants will try to reach EU trough Bosnia.
The last couple of months of 2019. have been the hardest due to the cold and an increased number of migrants and refugees arriving to Bosnia after northern Balkan routes towards Hungary were shut in 2016 following Europe’s migrant crisis. The situation for the migrants has been dire and the State responded by ignoring them and waiting.
Jungle camp, as about 1000 migrants that used to stay there call it, was a camp located 8 kilometers from Croatian border, underneath Pljesevica war line from the 1990s Yugoslavian wars, close to city of Bihac.
Underneath the camp are piles of trash, because that place used to be a trash dump. Methane evaporates from the ground because of the trash and with migrants burning fires on top it is a sort of a ticking bomb situation. Fact that the camp is surrounded with mines from Yugoslavian wars in 1990s adds to the explosive situation.
There is no electricity or running water in the camp. A water is delivered with a water tank truck once a day. Only chance for them to fill up the bottles, wash and take a bath which in temperatures that go well bellow 0 degrees, is not easy. Two meals a day are delivered by the local Red Cross.
Because of the media, international community and huge efforts from local IOM office in Bosnia after six months the camp was closed, mid December. About 3200 migrants are currently in the northwest Bihac region in the camps and another 1000 live outside, sleeping rough or in private homes and abandoned buildings.