Football baseball basketball soccer hockey AP PHOTOS: Migrants face more misery in Bosnian crackdown

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September 28, 2020, 12: 30 PM

2 min read

A sense of desperation hangs over the hundreds of men and boys who have been forced to build tents from sticks and black plastic tarps in the forests after local authorities in Bosnia’s Krajina region decided last month to start pushing them away from town centers, even kicking them out of U.N-run reception centers there.

Krajina shares a highly porous 1,000 kilometer (620 mile) border with European Union member Croatia, making it a major draw for migrants crossing Bosnia. Local authorities say they are bearing the brunt of Europe’s lingering migration issues and other parts of impoverished Bosnia are failing to help out.

The EU has provided Bosnia with 60 million euros ($70 million) in emergency funding, most for seven migrant centers, including five in Krajina, which can house more than 7,000 people.

Aid organizations and volunteers helping migrants in Krajina warn that the situation is shifting quickly into a crisis as the number of migrants scavenging the forests for food and bathing in the frigid rivers keeps growing.

Bosnia, which has never truly recovered from its brutal 1992-95 war, became a bottleneck for thousands of Europe-bound migrants three years ago when other nations closed their borders and disrupted migration paths through the Balkans.

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