Migrants clash with police at Bosnian-Croatian border

Croatian riot police stand guard in front of migrants at Maljevac border crossing between Bosnia and Croatia near Velika Kladusa, Bosnia, October 24, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 24 October 2018

Migrants clash with police at Bosnian-Croatian border

  • The group are among thousands who have fled wars and poverty in Asia and North Africa
  • The violence on Wednesday broke out after around 100 people pushed through a Bosnian police cordon in a march toward the border with Croatia

VELIKA KLADUSA: At least three migrants were hurt Wednesday in a second day of skirmishes with police at Bosnia’s border with EU member state Croatia, according to an AFP journalist, with several officers also reporting minor injuries.
The group are among thousands who have fled wars and poverty in Asia and North Africa and are now stuck in Bosnia’s northwest region, many without proper shelter as winter looms, and making periodic attempts to pass into the European Union through Croatia.
The violence on Wednesday broke out after around 100 people pushed through a Bosnian police cordon in a march toward the border with Croatia, where they were stopped by another column of anti-riot police from both countries.
Police used batons and pepper spray in a scuffle with those trying to cross the border, leaving three wounded, including one woman who was bleeding from the head.
Two Croatian police officers were also “slightly injured” by migrants who threw stones, Croatia’s interior ministry said in a statement.
Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic repeated that his country would continue to “protect its border from illegal entries and migrations.”
The migrants, with young children among them, brought tents and appeared ready to spend another night on the roadside near Maljevac border crossing, despite cold weather.
On Wednesday they blocked any traffic from passing.
“We have no other choice, we don’t have any money and we cannot stay here, we have no warm place, we don’t have showers,” Majid Dayyani, a 29-year-old Iranian, told AFP.
Aid groups have repeatedly warned that a humanitarian crisis is looming if better shelter and care is not provided before winter hits.
Bosnian authorities have not set up a formal center in the northwest region where most migrants are camped out.
Some 20,000 migrants have registered in Bosnia since the start of the year, according to the security ministry.
Many manage to sneak across the border but several thousand are currently languishing in make-shift shelters in the Balkan state.
On Wednesday the government unveiled a shelter close to the capital Sarajevo that can accommodate up to 400 people.


Morocco, Spain to hold talks about overlapping territorial waters

Updated 25 January 2020

Morocco, Spain to hold talks about overlapping territorial waters

  • The territorial waters Morocco has claimed include the coast off Western Sahar
  • The territory has been contested between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front since the Spanish colonial period ended in 1975

RABAT: The Moroccan and Spanish foreign ministers said on Friday their countries would hold talks about overlapping areas of ocean that they both claim rights to in the North Atlantic.
The territorial waters Morocco has claimed include the coast off Western Sahara, a territory that has been contested between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front since the Spanish colonial period ended in 1975.
Morocco’s parliament passed two bills this week to give domestic legal cover to a coastal area the North African country already controls, causing concern in Spain’s Canary Islands, where the government warned of overlaps with Spanish territorial waters.
Morocco’s foreign minister Nasser Bourita said that defining territorial waters was a “sovereign right” and that his country aimed to upgrade domestic law in compliance with the UN law of the sea convention.
“In case of overlaps, international law requires states to negotiate,” said Bourita following talks with his Spanish peer, Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
“Morocco rejects unilateral acts and fait accompli,” he said, adding that Spain was a “strategic partner” and Morocco’s largest trading partner.
Gonzalez Laya said Morocco’s willingness to negotiate “reassures the Canary Islands.”
“Morocco is a source of stability for Spain,” she said, citing “close cooperation” in the fight against jihadists and illegal migration.