Lipa is the cruel consequence of the European border politics.
The images from Lipa are harrowing. The catastrophic situation people on the move are facing in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina is the consequence of European policies of shutting off people, no matter what. Germany and the EU are direct responsible for the systematic violation of the rights of people on the move at Europe’s external borders. It is the EU that has created the humanitarian emergency in Bosnia in the first place through the systematic use of force by Croatian border guards. These violent pushbacks must be stopped immediately. The German government must act now: People on the move must be evacuated immediately from Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Germany, federal states and municipalities are ready to take them in – their entry into the EU must be made possible! On Dec. 23, 2020, Camp Lipa in northwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina near the Croatian border burned down almost completely. More than 1,000 people had lived in the camp before, but it had not previously been made suitable for winter. Even if a new camp is to be reconstructed now, it does not entirely solve the problems people on the move are facing. The conditions in these camps, as Lipa has shown, are more often than not meeting people’s needs. Additionally, several thousand refugees in Bosnia are forced to stay outside of camps. Instead of taking true responsibility by granting them access to the European Asylum system, the EU merely promises further financial support and thereby shifts the responsibility to the authorities in Bosnia.