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Dramatic situation in camp in Bosnia: Migrants refuse food and water, bathe in snow

Migrants say they find it increasingly difficult to cope with the cold weather and horrendous living conditions, and that they are worried they won't survive the winter unless adequate living space is provided very quickly, especially for the many women and children

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A dramatic situation has been unfolding at camp Vucjak near Bihac since this morning, as migrants are refusing to take water and food in protest against inhumane conditions that they live in, while snow has made their lives even worse.

Snow, below zero temperatures and mud are what a reporter with the website Klix.ba has seen when he arrived in Vucjak this morning - a camp that is home to close to 600 migrants.

Under the weight of snow, several migrant tents collapsed, which automatically meant that some of them were left without even this cold roof over their heads.

When food arrived at the camp this morning it was quickly sent back, as migrants decided to go on a hunger strike that will last until they are provided with living conditions suitable for humans.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic also arrived at the camp, saying that Vucjak should be closed as soon as today because conditions there are catastrophic.

Migrants say they find it increasingly difficult to cope with the cold weather and horrendous living conditions, and that they are worried they won't survive the winter unless adequate living space is provided very quickly, especially for the many women and children.

Also at the camp is a special police unit for support from the Una-Sana Canton but no incidents have been reported so far.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Minister of Security Dragan Mektic said on Saturday that capacities should be created in about 20 days to start accommodating migrants at the Blazuj Barracks near Sarajevo. He stated at the time that the goal was to shut down Vucjak, which is not an official camp.

And while the barracks are being prepared to receive migrants, locals in Blazuj stress that they live in fear of the arrival of a large numbers of migrants, and that the area is threatened by an ecological disaster as the plan is to divert the sewer from the barracks into a local stream.

(Telegraf.rs/Klix.ba)

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