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Hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been left stranded without shelter in the winter cold after their camp was set ablaze and attempts to relocate them fell through.

The migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East have been sleeping in the open for more than a week after a fire destroyed the Lipa camp near the town of Bihac, in western Bosnia, on December 23.

A plan to take them to a shelter in another location was abandoned on Wednesday – after the migrants had spent more than a day waiting on buses – due to disagreements between regional authorities and protests by locals.

After being removed from the buses, the migrants were sent away on foot to return to the ruins of the Lipa camp.

“36 hours [in the] bus, waiting, wait, wait, wait… Does Bosnia government [have] no solution?”

Zahur, a migrant from Pakistan, told Reuters. “No shelter, no water… [It’s] very cold.”

There are around 10,000 migrants stuck in Bosnia where many attempt to cross the border with Croatia and into the European Union.

The Lipa camp was opened last spring as a temporary shelter and had been due to close because of poor conditions that made it unsuitable for winter.


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