AP PHOTOS: Concern grows over makeshift Bosnia migrant camp

Oct 13, 2021, 12:45 PM | Updated: Oct 14, 2021, 12:53 am
A migrant child peers from a makeshift tent at a camp housing migrants mostly from Afghanistan in V...

A migrant child peers from a makeshift tent at a camp housing migrants mostly from Afghanistan in Velika Kladusa, Bosnia, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Hundreds of migrants _ including small children, babies and elderly people _ have set up a new improvised camp in northwest Bosnia, determined to brave worsening weather and tough Croatian border police for a chance to reach Western Europe.(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

VELIKA KLADUSA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Hundreds of migrants — including small children, babies and elderly people — have camped out in northwest Bosnia, braving worsening weather and tough Croatian border police for a chance to head on towards Western Europe.

With some of the shelters no more than sticks covered by nylon sheeting, the settlement sprawls over a muddy field near the town of Velika Kladusa, a few kilometers (miles) from the border with Croatia, a European Union member.

Locals say the camp has sprouted over the past few weeks. There’s no running water, lavatories, showers or electricity, and a freezing Bosnian winter is approaching fast.

The migrants cope as best they can. They bring water in plastic containers, light fires for warmth and try to keep their tents tidy inside. Some men could be seen washing or shaving, hoping to keep clean in a sea of mud and dirt around them.

Nearby, others were chopping firewood as toddlers used sticks to draw on the ground. Some children played with plush animals or dolls, while a group of boys crouched over a game of marbles.

Aid workers say the migrants refuse to move into official, organized camps so they can keep as close to the Croatian border as possible. Already, many of the children are sick, they said.

Some of the people there have tried to illegally enter Croatia dozens of times only to be turned back by Croatian police, who recently were filmed beating migrants with batons and returning them to Bosnia.

Last week, Croatia admitted its police were in the video footage taken under a joint effort spearheaded by the non-profit group Lighthouse Reports. Three officers have been suspended over what officials insist was an isolated incident. Croatia had repeatedly denied similar accusations in the past.

Camp resident Mohammad Romal, from Afghanistan, said he, too, was beaten by police when he was caught with a group of other migrants deep inside Croatia — heading for Italy and, ultimately, France. He said the police took their belongings and drove them back to Bosnia.

“You can’t talk to them, you can’t say ‘why you are beating us, what is the reason?'” he said.

Romal’s determination to build a better life for himself is shared by scores of others who fled violence and poverty in the Middle East, Africa or Asia. Thousands remain stuck in the Balkans, desperate to move on towards Europe’s prosperous heartland, while many more risk their lives daily crossing the Mediterranean.

People camping near Velika Kladusa say they moved there because official camps are not close enough to the border, and they don’t have enough money to pay for transport each time they try to enter Croatia. Migrants often pay small fortunes to people smugglers to be spirited across borders.

Enver Hafuric, from the SOS aid group — which was distributing medical supplies and warm meals — said appeals for parents living in the field to bring their children to official camps have failed.

“They want to be closer to the border, they want to go (away) from here, they want to go to the countries of the European Union,” he said.

___

Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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

AP

This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based o...
Associated Press

UN envoy blames to Syria for failure of constitution talks

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. special envoy for Syria said Wednesday the Syrian government’s refusal to negotiate on revisions to the country’s constitution is a key reason for the failure of talks last week that left the road map to peace in the conflict-torn country in question.. Geir Pedersen expressed his disappointment to the […]
16 hours ago
FILE - New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell talks about evacuation plans at City Hall in New Orleans, ...
Associated Press

New Orleans drops mask mandate as coronavirus numbers fall

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans is largely ending a mandate requiring residents and visitors wear masks indoors as infections of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continue to fall, the city’s mayor announced Wednesday. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a news release the mandate will be lifted Friday, with some exceptions: Masks […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Starbucks raising US workers’ pay as union effort looms

Starbucks said Wednesday it is raising its U.S. employees’ pay and making other changes to improve working conditions in its stores. The Seattle-based coffee giant said all of its U.S. workers will earn at least $15 — and up to $23 — per hour by next summer. In late January, employees with two or more […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Republican attorneys general criticize Biden vaccine order

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Twenty-one Republican state attorneys general sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday saying they think his COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal contractors “stands on shaky legal ground,” is confusing to contractors and could exacerbate supply-chain problems. They wrote that companies could be blacklisted for federal contracts unless they get […]
16 hours ago
ADDS THAT POLICE OFFICER HAS DIED - Police officers embrace while waiting outside the emergency roo...
Associated Press

Man charged with murder in death of Illinois police officer

PONTOON BEACH, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a police officer at a gas station. Scott Hyden, 31, of Highland was arrested at the gas station following the shooting Tuesday of 36-year-old Pontoon Beach Officer Tyler Timmins. Hyden was being held […]
16 hours ago
FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2017, file photo, a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating...
Associated Press

Jury selected for civil trial over Charlottesville rally

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A jury has been seated in a civil trial to determine whether white nationalists who planned the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, will be held responsible for the violence that erupted. The process of choosing a jury was completed Wednesday, the third day of jury selection. Opening statements […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
AP PHOTOS: Concern grows over makeshift Bosnia migrant camp