Situation with Migrants Not Good for EU, Bosnia's European Prospects

By 17 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 17, 2019 - Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović has said that illegal migrants attempt to enter Croatia on a daily basis but that Croatian police protect the border and are prepared for all eventualities.

Božinović made the statement on Wednesday during a visit to the eastern town of Vukovar, where he attended an event commemorating 97 police officers killed or gone missing in the defence of that town in 1991, when reporters asked him if there was a danger that the 1,500 migrants staying at the Vučjak camp in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the border with Croatia, could force their way into Croatia after their water and power supply was cut off.

Suhret Fazlić, the mayor of the Bosnian town of Bihać, where the Vučjak camp is located, on Tuesday again accused Croatia of pushing back migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina or rather to Bihać. He noted that Croatia recently pushed back a group of migrants who had entered Croatia at the Bajakovo border crossing on the border with Serbia in eastern Croatia.

"I regret the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and I have personally warned my colleagues in that country that they need to step up the protection of their eastern border because, by their own admission, illegal migrants enter Bosnia and Herzegovina from the east without any problem. It is not good for Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is not good for the EU and it is also not good for Bosnia and Herzegovina's European prospects," said Božinović.

Commenting on Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava's dissatisfaction with efficiency in the prosecution of war crimes committed in that town during the 1991-95 war, Božinović said that a special working group for the investigation of war crimes was formed in February 2018 and that it had achieved significant results.

"That, of course, is not everything, and work on the identification and prosecution of perpetrators of war crimes in Vukovar will never end," the minister said, adding that this year police had uncovered 19 war crimes, including 10 in Vukovar.

More news about migrant crisis can be found in the Politics section.