Tue, 10 Dec 2019

A storm in Bosnia-Herzegovina has blasted through the improvised Vucjak camp for migrants trying to reach Western Europe, sending tents tumbling and further endangering the estimated 2,000 people stranded there.

Many of the migrants at the camp near the Western Balkan nation's with Croatia appealed for help on November 16 after a night seeking for shelter from the rains and wind.

"Please help me. I am human, not an animal, give me roof!" Kamran Han, a migrant from Pakistan, told AP.

"You see this place not for humans...this is a forest, this is an animal place, not for humans."

Kasif Pervez, also from Pakistan, said while standing next to his ruined tent that "we don't have anything to make [the tent] stand up."

He said he had received no help from the authorities or aid groups.

Garbage floated in pools of water as the rain poured down as migrants attempted to repair their tents while others sat around fires trying to get warm and dry.

A day earlier, the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) group said that the improvised refugee camp in northwestern Bosnia did not meet basic living standards, calling it a "dangerous and inhumane place."

The camp, built in June on a former landfill, hosts around 2,000 people. It does not have electricity or running water, and tents housing migrants were erected on bare ground.

The European Union has given Bosnia more than 36 million euros ($40 million) in aid, but conditions at Vucjak are so bad that "no EU financial support can, or will be, provided for it," EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on November 14.

An estimated 50,000 migrants have crossed into Bosnia since last year, putting additional pressure on the nation. The government in Sarajevo, perpetually blocked by ethnic squabbling, has struggled to deal with the issue.

With reporting by AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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