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    Migrants wait for food inside a dorm destroyed during the Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018

    Why Bosnia May Become New Base for Middle Eastern Refugees

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    Commenting on Bosnia and Herzegovina currently being in the grip of a migrant crisis during an interview with Sputnik Serbia, political analyst Andjelko Kozomara predicted that the crisis would unlikely show any signs of abating in the immediate future.

    With the Balkan route via Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Croatia closed for refugees in March 2016, Bosnia has become an alternative route for scores of migrants. 

    Republika Srpska-based political scientist Andjelko Kozomara said that the re-direction of migrant routes to Bosnia and Herzegovina is deliberately aimed at turning Bosnia into a base for those "miserable people who want to get into the EU."

    READ MORE: EU Plan to Resettle 50,000 Refugees is 'Political Message for Old Europe'

    "Nothing happens accidentally and spontaneously. Migrants themselves say that they have guides and that a special plan has been prepared to help them move around," Cosomara noted.

    He recalled that migrants in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo prefer to stay in the city's central parks rather than refugee centers.

    For its part, the government of Republika Srpska has already made it clear that they don't intend to accept more migrants, according to Cosomara.

    READ MORE: Responsibility for the Migrant Crisis in Greece Falls Upon the EU – Expert

    "Refugees will certainly keep mum on their desire to stay in Bosnia but in any case, they feel more comfortable there than in Afghanistan or Syria," he said, citing Republika Srpska's President Milorad Dodik as saying that "some of them [the migrants] plan to stay [in Bosnia]."

    Cosomara said that Republika Srpska, which has only police forces, would hardly be able to cope with the problem of border protection on its own. According to him, the local authorities should not count on help from Sarajevo, which has repeatedly shunned supporting Republika Srpska.

    READ MORE:Review of Border Deal With UK Won't Solve Migrant Crisis in Calais — French NGO

    Cosomara pointed out that Bosnia may become a refugee base because this unstable and sovereignty-free state "is administered by the Office of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU, as well as a number of foreign embassies."

    Earlier, Republika Srpska's Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic warned of "serious problems," saying that up to 120,000 refugees could pass through Bosnian territory in the near future.

    Right now, about 4,000 migrants remain in Bosnia as the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Dunja Mijatovic, urges the country's authorities to do more to grapple with the problem. 

    Europe has been experiencing the worst migration crisis in its history, with more than 110,000 migrants and refugees arriving in the EU by sea in 2017.

    The views and opinions expressed by Andjelko Kozomara are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.Andjelko Kozomara.

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    refugees, government, route, migrants, crisis, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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