Bosnian city clamps down on migrant movement after local protests
Aljosa Milenkovic

Authorities in the Bosnian city of Bihac have clamped down on the movement of migrants after protests from residents. 

Migrants with UN passes have been confined in two former factories on the city's outskirts, while those without passes have been pointed towards "the jungle" - local slang for an illegal camp at Vucjak, seven kilometers away in the forest. 

However, now the authorities look set to close the illegal camp within days. Mohamad Ayaz, a migrant from Afghanistan, told CGTN: "I hear that 17 November, maybe they will close it." Asked where they will head next, Ayaz said "I don't know. We don't have [any] idea to go anywhere."

Migrants with UN passes enter this former factory (Credit: CGTN)

Migrants with UN passes enter this former factory (Credit: CGTN)

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The impending camp closure came after residents felt unsafe with migrants in the city. "The situation is very ugly, because nothing is being done to find accommodation for them," local citizen Ahmet Abdilhodzic told CGTN. "When darkness falls, citizens lock themselves in their houses. 

"It could be resolved if there is political will for it, but from all sides. If every canton would host some, it would be better for all. Those people are not in a favourable situation. We cannot do anything to them, but for us, this is too much."

Bihac mayor Suhret Fazlic (Credit: CGTN)

Bihac mayor Suhret Fazlic (Credit: CGTN)

The mayor of Bihac, Suhret Fazlic, said: "I support the decision to restrict moving of migrants," saying that the city had been "overwhelmed by migrants." 

The UN's International Organization for Migration appealed to the Bihac authorities not to restrict freedom of movement for migrants, and not to close those camps, but the clampdown has already begun.