Fahrudin Radoncic, the Bosnian security minister, is warning the European Union that there might be up to 100,000 migrants heading to Western Europe through Greece in the coming weeks.
“Our border is very permeable. We don’t have enough (guards) or material resources,” said Radoncic, explaining why Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot serve as a buffer that would stop the influx of migrants.
In the meantime, Greece also paints a grim picture of the situation. As most of the migrants coming to Europe enter the continent in Greece, local government forecasts an increase in newly arrived migrants.
According to Greece’s migration ministry secretary Manos Logothetis, Greece expects about 100,000 new migrants this year as well.
At the end of last year, Hungary also announced that it is preparing for the 100,000 immigrants who are gathering in the Western Balkans and are ready to enter deeper into Europe.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, which could help to stop some of the migrants lacks at least 1,200 border guards to be able to monitor the borders sufficiently, stated Radoncic, adding that currently for every 25 kilometers of the border, there is only one police officer.
Besides, the situation in Bosnian migrant camps is getting so much worse as the camps struggle with enormous overcrowding, reported Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung.
An example of the bleak situation is the Vucjak migrant camp near the border with Croatia. Many criticized the camp for unsatisfactory conditions with the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) organization labeling the camp a “dangerous and inhumane place.”
The government decided to clear the camp in December 2019 and transfer the migrants to another area near Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) regional coordinator Peter Van der Auweraert, when the weather in the area gets better, some migrants might get on the move, especially as Bosnia and Herzegovina is just a transit country.
However, other parts of the Balkan route have noticed an increase in activity. In January, for example, 3,400 migrants attempted, some of them violently, to cross the border between Serbia and Hungary despite the border fence.