BOSNIA moves migrants from freezing forest camp.

VUCJAK : Bosnia authorities bowing to international pressure, began moving migrants on Tuesday from a freezing makeshift camp in a forest to more appropriate shelter.

Around 600 migrants have been battling to survive the harsh Bosnian winter in the Vucjak camp, a former landfill area near the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac and just 8 km from the Croatian border.

Aid agencies have long urged authorities to close the camp, which lacks running water and electricity. The forest is strewn with landmines left over from the wars of 1990s.

Following a visit last week by a senior human rights envoy who urged authorities to close the camp immediately, Bosnia decided to move the migrants from Vucjak to facilities near the capital Sarajevo.

Under heavy police protection, seven buses took migrants and refugees to their new locations. Access to the camp was restricted for media and allowed only to Red Cross officials.

Nermina Cemalovic, the Bihac region's health and labour minister said no incidents occurred and that Vucjak camp will be completely dismantled on Tuesday.

''We expect that all migrants from Vucjak will be moved today and the camp finally closed, but activities are still going on,'' Bihac police spokesman Ale Siljdedic said.

However, some people who made long journeys from Asia and the Middle East to reach the European Union have said they do not want to be rehoused further away from the Croatian border.

A photographer saw a few dozen migrants leaving the camp on their own in the early hours of Tuesday. [Reuters]


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