TUZLA, November 21 (FENA) – Residents of several suburban Tuzla local communities gathered today, in peaceful protests in front of a building where the Tuzla Cantonal Assembly is held, and expressed their opposition to the possibility of accommodating migrants near their homes.
Goran Stojak from the local community of Bukinje claimed that the population is in a panic because of the announced possibility of opening a migrant center in the former barracks in Ljubače or by proposing that the center be built in the Tuzla settlement of Bukinje.
“I do not believe that this migration center is for refugees, but for migrants who enter BiH illegally. It has been announced that they are coming to a place where the majority of the Croatian population is, and that is expulsion for us. Our mayor gave a firm position and declared that a migrant center would not be established in the Tuzla area,” Stojak said.
The assembled locals demand that their position be respected and that they will not allow the opening of the migrant center.
“These people left their jobs today because they came here to protect their homes. We are ready to stand in front of the barracks and forbid entry, even at the cost of arresting us. This is the general attitude of the inhabitants,” points out Dražen Vilušić, president of the Ljubače local community.
The Assembly and the Government of Tuzla Canton, as stated by the representatives of these authorities in the Tuzla Canton (TC), are not competent for the care of migrants, as it is in the competence of the state.
“We are not competent to make any decisions. It is the responsibility of the BiH Ministry of Security to secure the state border. These people are in transit. As for me and the Assembly of TC, we are not in favor of building any migration center in the TC area. We can only give humanitarian support,” said TC Assembly President Žarko Vujović.
Tuzla Canton Prime Minister Denijal Tulumović also addressed the citizens and said that decisions are made by state institutions, and that nothing can be done without the consent of the local community.
“This government will be fully involved until we solve this problem and find accommodation of these people certainly outside the populated urban areas,” said Tulumović.
Shortly after the talks with the Prime Minister of TC, the citizens departed peacefully.