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Zahadi and Zaid are hoping to get jobs in Italy as house painters, welders and tilers. Zaid has said he would stay in BiH, given that there are Muslims here, if the work and accommodation were offered to him. By: Bernard Milosevic


SARAJEVO, May 22 /SRNA/ - Moving a larger group of migrants from a park in the Sarajevo down town, across from the City Hall, into a refugee centre in Salakovac, the problem of illegal migration has not disappeared, but only became less visible.

Migrants now, mainly in smaller groups, are staying in the area around the Sarajevo Railway Station, sleeping on benches and trying to reach the border with Croatia in many ways, but, as they say, they would not mind staying here, in BiH.

Pakistani refugees Nadim Zahadi and Mohammed Zaid left the province of Kashmir on foot a year and a half ago and arrived in BiH four days ago.

"Because of the constant instability between India and Pakistan in the province of Kashmir, we could no longer live there. We sold everything we had in Kashmir and were moving to different parts of Pakistan. After that we set off to Italy where we want to work and live normally, Zahadi told SRNA.

He has pointed out that he arrived in BiH four days ago from Serbia and that he stayed in refugee centres in Turkey and Greece.

"We left Pakistan together in a smaller group. There were refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya in Turkey. Now we hope to stay 15 days in BiH and continue our journey to Italy through Croatia and Slovenia," Zahadi has said.

Zahadi and Zaid stress they do not have family members living in the European Union and hope to get jobs in Italy as house painters, welders and tilers, the jobs they did before they left their homeland.

"I hope that we will reach the border with Croatia. We are ready to do any job in BiH, too. It is enough that somebody offers us anything to work. As far as I'm concerned, I would stay in BiH, since there are Muslims here, if only work and accommodation are offered to us," Zaid has said.

He has noted that some of the refugees, who stayed with them for a few days, continued their journey towards Bihac, some of them agreed to register, but some do not want to do so due to distrust in the BiH authorities.

A group of migrants from Pakistan are hoping to reach Bihac, and then to the border with Croatia, saying they have no place in Pakistan to return to.
"We hope there are good people who will help us reach Bihac. We have not got any money and we hope that we will meet some of our fellow countrymen who have some money left," Zaid has said.

Sarajevo residents pretend these smaller groups of mostly young African-Asian men sitting on benches in the vicinity of the Railway Station do not exist.

Migrants are aware of the fact that they could be accommodated and taken care of for several days in the Salakovac refugee centre, provided they are registered.

A group of about 270 migrants who lived in a park near the Sarajevo City Hall in recent months were transported to the Salakovac refugee centre in five buses on May 18.

Yesterday, this group of migrants was visited by the minister for refugees and displaced persons in the Council of Ministers, Semiha Borovac. /end/vos