Fire breaks out in squalid migrant camp in Bosnia

BIHAC, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A massive fire broke out Wednesday in a temporary migrant camp in northwestern Bosnia that’s been strongly criticized by rights groups as improper because of its lack of funds. Officials stated former citizens started the blaze.

Residents were spotted running away in terror in the fire but no injuries were immediately reported.

Many are stuck in Bosnia’s northwestern Krajina area as other regions from the ethnically divided country have refused to take them.

The Lipa camp was closed on Wednesday and moved into a different place, but officials stated that because its tents and other amenities were almost destroyed in the fire it can’t quickly be transferred to a different place.

“Fortunately, no casualties to our understanding at this stage but tragedy, however,” Van Der Auweraert stated on Twitter.

He told reporters that the fire was under control, however, that the majority of the camp had been destroyed or ruined. He explained camp residents were around the region since”there is no other accommodation available” in Bosnia for them.

He explained some migrants intended to go to Croatia as”fast as they could,” a few were planning to go to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo while some meant to remain in the Bihac region throughout winter at squatter’s camps.

Witnesses said the fire appeared to have started at a gas storage facility and quickly spread to the stalls in which the migrants lived.

Natasa Omerovic, the camp manager, advised the Bosnian Klix. ba.

“As we see the tents are being set on fire at a series of actions, and I believe we are discussing vandalism,” she was quoted as stating. “The migrants are mad and mad, we could hear them cursing the country “

The Lipa camp was just installed as a temporary shelter throughout the summer to handle the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU has cautioned Bosnia that tens of thousands of migrants confront a freezing winter with no recourse, and is encouraged that the nation’s bickering politicians to put their differences aside and do it. Thousands of individuals have been sleeping outside in makeshift tent camps or deserted homes with no amenities in the region, which saw the snow earlier this season.

Most migrants in Bosnia also have alleged pushbacks and violence in the hands of border authorities.