Thousands of migrants trapped in Bosnia facing freezing cold

Photo by Peter Van der Auweraert - Coordinator IOM West Balkans

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Thousands of migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina are facing extreme cold the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) warned.

Unheated tents are hosting some 2,500 people, while others are sleeping rough close to the town of Bihac.

Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM – Coordinator for the Western Balkans tweeted that the Bosnian authorities are assisting in providing provisional accommodation for migrants.

In the last hours, heated tents were set-up and migrants are being moved in the temporary shelters the IOM representative said.

The migrants got stuck in Balkan cold in their attempt to reach Croatia, an EU member state seen as a gateway to the EU. The IOM says about 8,500 non-EU migrants are living in Bosnia, still hoping to get to northern Europe.EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc provided funds for shelters in Bihac that are still kept empty. He claims that Bosnian officials had “ignored repeated appeals to provide basic and secure living conditions and humane treatment”.

The bloc told the Bosnian authorities that they “must assume their responsibilities”. The Balkan state with a population of 3.5 million people has ambitions to join the EU.