Asylum seekers allege ‘extreme violence’ at the hands of Croatian authorities while en route to western Europe.
Sarajevo police have arrested a Moroccan citizen, one of three suspects involved in the killing of a 36-year-old Bosnian man in the capital’s suburb of Ilidza.
The arrest was made on Thursday and the police are searching for two other suspects.
Police said in a statement that they responded to a call to intervene in a fight in Ilidza late on Tuesday and found a body of a Bosnian man at the scene.
Three suspects fled the scene, police spokesman Mirza Hadziabdic said.
“According to police findings, they are migrants,” he said.
Several hundred people rallied on Wednesday in Ilidza demanding that authorities move migrants and refugees from the streets and into camps following the fight and stabbing that killed the local man and wounded two others.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has experienced an influx of thousands of migrants and refugees trying to reach Western Europe while fleeing war and poverty in their home nations.
At the protest, local official Dzevan Poturak called for institutions “to act within 24 hours and to find a way as to how they can help the citizens of Bosnia”.
“It looks like it’s time for the people to take matters in their own hands, but we don’t want this,” local media quoted Poturak as saying.
“We’re calling for authorities to urgently move the migrants from the streets, place them in camps and investigate why they are here, what do they want.”
The commission for the security of the Sarajevo Canton assembly has asked state institutions to start deporting migrants who violate the country’s public order laws.
The Moroccan suspect was convicted last year in Bosnia for drug possession but continued to stay in the country, according to Aljosa Campara, the federal interior minister.
“It is unbelievable that the man remained in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the committed crime and after the conviction,” Campara told Al Jazeera.
“He should have been deported to his country of origin, in this case, Morocco, or to the country from which he entered Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Campara said.
Nermin Muzur, the newly elected mayor of Ilidza, said at the protest on Wednesday that the number of migrants in Ilidza has risen to 3,000 from the planned 300 to 500 migrants.
“I call on all those in charge, especially Bosnia’s Ministry of Security, to get this situation under control,” Muzur was quoted by local media as saying.
“This is a big problem and without any broad action … we cannot expect a better situation,” Muzur said.
Migrants often pass through the capital, Sarajevo, seeking to reach neighbouring European Union member state Croatia and move on further west.
Many of them are forced to return to Bosnia while crossing into Croatia in violent pushbacks, according to human rights organisations.
More than 6,000 migrants are currently being held in temporary reception centres in Bosnia, according to the United Nations’ IOM.
However, it is estimated that the actual number is much higher as many migrants are forced to sleep in improvised camps or deserted buildings due to limited capacity in reception centres.