SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — A covered-up landfill in a mine-infested part of a dysfunctional Balkan state whose own people are emigrating in droves might not seem ideal for a refugee camp. But local authorities in Bihac, a Bosnian city of 50,000, had little choice.
Still deeply scarred by a brutal inter-ethnic war in the 1990s, Bosnia has become the chief bottleneck on the main land route for thousands of migrants seeking a better life in Europe.
Until the camp’s opening last week at Vucjak, 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the border with European Union-member Croatia, thousands of migrants — mostly single men — were sleeping rough in Bihac and other cities in Bosnia’s northwestern Krajina region.
Vucjak now provides 1,000 of them with tents and Red Cross meals, but few want to stay.