The resettlement of refugees from the controversial Bosnian camp Vucjak near Bihac started this afternoon. According to local authorities, around 600 inmates will first be housed in the Usivak refugee camp near Hadzici, about 20 kilometers southwest of Sarajevo.
Remodeling work still in progress
The conversion work in the former military barracks Blazuj near Sarajevo, where they are to be transferred later, is still in progress. According to Peter van der Auweraert, head of mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bosnia, the reconstruction work in Blazuj would take about three or four weeks. Among other things, it is necessary to solve the question of water and electricity supply, reported the broadcaster Free Europe.
According to the internet portal Klix.ba, seven buses and around 100 police officers were deployed for the resettlement of refugees. Some of the refugees, according to media reports, opposed the transfer to the interior and would rather stay in the region near the border with Croatia. As one IOM official pointed out, the relocation of refugees would be entirely voluntary.
Tents without heating
The improvised camp Vucjak has been located on a former landfill since summer, has no electricity and water connection and consists of tents that can not be heated. With the onset of winter, the living conditions in the camp have worsened in recent days.
In the past six months, around 15,000 refugees have been registered in the camp, reported Radio Free Europe. According to the authorities, after the resettlement of the refugees, which should be completed by Thursday, Vucjak will be closed until the weekend.