EU migration chief warns Bosnia of looming winter crisis

U.S. & World

In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, Bosnian border police officers guard migrants after making the illegal crossing from Serbia by the Drina river, the natural border between Bosnia and Serbia, near eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik, Bosnia. Bosnian border police are warning they cannot contain migratory pressures along the country’s eastern border with Serbia, warning the situation could easily escalate and put in danger the overall stability of their politically fragile nation. (AP Photo/Eldar Emric)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top migration official is warning Bosnian authorities of a likely humanitarian crisis this winter due to appalling conditions in overcrowded migrant camps in the country.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos called Thursday for the closure of the Vucjak camp near Bihac in northwest Bosnia, an old landfill site located near a minefield.

Avramopoulos says adequate accommodation must be provided for around 8,000 migrants “to prevent a major humanitarian crisis in the coming winter.”

He says the EU has given Bosnia over 36 million euros ($40 million) in aid, but that conditions at Vucjak are so bad that “no EU financial support can, or will be, provided for it.”

An estimated 50,000 migrants have crossed Bosnia since last year bound for the EU.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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