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English22/01/2021

DODIK: NO MIGRANT CAMPS WILL BE OPENED IN SRPSKA

 

SARAJEVO, JANUARY 22 /SRNA/ - Serb member and chairman of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik said Friday in a meeting with EU ambassadors accredited to BiH that no camps for migrants would be opened in Republika Srpska and that the decisions as such should not be expected from it.

 

Dodik told the press in Sarajevo that the migration crisis was mostly discussed in the meeting with EU ambassadors.

During the meeting, Dodik said, EU ambassadors were asked not to return illegal migrants, who managed to get to the Union member states, to BiH.

"After all, the EU encouraged those people to go on this long journey from their homes. Not to return those migrants to us as it generates additional problems," said Dodik.

He pointed to two best solutions - for the EU to accept a number of migrants and to deport the rest of them to the countries they came from, in which case, as he stated, many allegedly humanitarian organisations across Europe would wait a second to condemn it. "So we are in a stalemate," Dodik said.

He mentioned that BiH did not cause of the crisis, nor has it generated or was responsible, although criticism is often heard that BiH is responsible for something like this.

"We explained and saw that there is still an expectation to reopen `Bira` for migrants. Obviously, it is impossible given the dissatisfaction of the Bihać people with such a solution," said Dodik, emphasizing that the position of that local community must be respected.

Dodik said that the Bihać authorities were ready to discuss solving the migrant issue, excluding the reception centres being in the city centre, considering the security aspect of that problem.

"/Presidency member Željko/ Komšić suggested to form refugee accommodation centre, i.e. illegal migrants centre, on Vučijak above Bihać. In essence, we see that the EU representatives are not ready for such a location. What they expected was deploying them to additional camps throughout BiH, according to some kind of equal treatment principle," Dodik explained.

Dodik stated that the living conditions in the "Lipa" camp were being improved, and that the EU ambassadors emphasized that all three members of the BiH Presidency were not responsible for the funds spent by the International Organisation for Migration /IOM/, because BiH received only three million, while EUR 87 million was being constantly mentioned.

"BiH did not even see those funds. It was actually a problem, since IOM people, without consulting the Bihać local authorities, hired space to accommodate refugees, ignoring local circumstances, signed contracts with owners, such as `Bira`paying more than EUR 20,000 a month for accommodation, i.e. for the lease of those premises, and now it is a problem," explained Dodik. /end/vos