BiH: Statement by Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, on migrant winter shelter crisis in Lipa

Brussels, 31 December 2020 – The situation facing more than 900 migrants in Lipa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is dire. They are without adequate shelter in severe winter conditions. This morning I spoke with Zoran Tegeltija, the Chair of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This followed a conversation yesterday evening with Mustafa Ružnić, PM of the Una-Sana Canton.

It is clear that the practical and immediate solution is to reopen the Bira reception centre. I welcome the Council of Ministers’ confirmation this morning that this is the preferred option. This centre has adequate heating, electricity, running water and can accommodate 1,500. Thanks to EU funding, provided and pledged, this is an immediate and obvious solution to alleviate the suffering of those stranded in the snow.

We call on Bosnian national and local authorities to work together to provide the shelter that these human beings deserve.