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Border Police needs assistance due to ever increasing pressure of migrant crisis.

The Border Police (BP) BiH police officers deterred 13,251 people last year from attempting to enter BiH from neighboring countries illegally, BiH State Police Director Zoran Galic said on Thursday, noting that the BiH BP cannot tackle the pressure of incoming migrants by itself.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina's Border Police are unable to respond alone to the increasing pressure that the migrant crisis exerts on us, especially since the BiH border is being guarded by one police officer for every 25 kilometers. Therefore, we are taking all possible measures and setting up new cooperation modalities in order to act more effectively when it comes to illegal migration", Galic said at a meeting with representatives of the BiH Foreigners' Affairs Service, SIPA and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia.

He stressed the importance of cooperation of police agencies with neighboring countries in order to act as effectively as possible in combating illegal migration, the BiH BP said.

The Director of the Foreigners' Affairs Service of BiH, Slobodan Ujic, stressed that BiH respects the signed Readmission Agreement with the Republic of Croatia and that more than 85 percent of requests made by the Croatian authorities to BiH, i.e. to the Foreigners' Affairs Service, have been positively resolved.

Ujic noted that the shortened readmission process with Croatia is functioning, which will also be discussed with Serbia and Montenegro in the coming period, and also expressed the need to hold regular meetings in order to resolve all outstanding issues in cooperation between the partner agencies of the two countries.

Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, Jozo A uker, emphasized that the Croatian Interior Ministry has the task to improve cooperation in all segments of activities at the border of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially after the recently held meeting between the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Security of BiH.

"This is primarily about improving readmission and mixed patrol systems, without the intention of Bosnia and Herzegovina becoming a 'hot spot' for illegal migrants," A uker said, asking partner agencies in BiH to provide them with all the assistance they need in investigating allegations of possible violations of human rights of migrants, as well as allegations of alleged unlawful acts by the Croatian police which will be investigated by the relevant authorities of the BP BiH.

In addition to talks on readmission and mixed patrols, the participants of the meeting also discussed other common activities, including operational actions implemented to prevent human trafficking. Particular emphasis has been placed on new modalities for co-operation in relation to illegal migration, which are increasingly pushing the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and neighboring countries.

They concluded that improving co-operation is the primary goal of police agencies in BiH with the Croatian Interior Ministry and that more frequent and regular meetings are needed, the statement said.

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Publication:Federalna Novinska Agencija (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Geographic Code:4EXCR
Date:Feb 13, 2020
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