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International Centre for
Migration Policy Development

Briefing Note - Phone call with Mr
Selmo Cikotic, Minister of Security,
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Date: 19 01 2021
Location: phone call

"= ICMPD: MSP, tbc ExRel for note taking

"= Delegation:

_— Selmo Cikotid (25 January 1964, Berane/Montenegro) is

a Bosnian politician, member of the Party of Democratic
Action (SDA) and former Army officer who is the
Minister of Security since 23 July 2020.


February 1993 - commander of operational group Zapad of the 3rd Corps of the
Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Bugojno

1994 - 1997 - Military attache at the Embassy of BiH to the US, Washington
2000 - 2004 - Commander of the 1st Corps of the Federation Army

2004 - 2007 - CEO of OKI doo (private construction company) in Sarajevo

June 2007 - he jointly attended a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at the NATO
headquarters in Brussels with the Serbian defence minister Dragan Sutanovac,
together they expressed their governments' wish to join NATO as soon as

2008 - Dean of the American National Faculty at the American University in
Bosnia and Herzegovina.

March 2008 - he led a five member delegation to Pakistan, to discuss "bilateral
cooperation between the two Muslim countries"

April 2007 - January 2012 - Minister of Defence (appointed on 11 Jan 2007,
but unable to take up officially until 22 Apr 2007, when a ban on former army
officers performing defence-related civilian duties expired)

2013 - 2016 - Head of the representative office of the BIGMEV Foundation,
responsible for development of economic relations between BiH and Turkey

2016 - October 2018 - Advisor in the Cabinet of a Member of the Presidency of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovid

November 2018 - teaching at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University
of Sarajevo

CikotiC has a master's degree from the University of Sarajevo in 2004, and a
doctorate as of 2008 from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, where he
works as an associate professor. He is also a visiting professor at the Geneva
Center for Security Policy (GCSP), the American University in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and the NATO School in Oberammergau.

Background (relations and cooperation with the counterpart, previous
meeting(s) and their outcome(s))

" Necessity to provide support to BiH - the country is one of the key MS
of ICMPD in the WB. In the recent years, ICMPD only provided support to
BiH authorities on an ad hoc basis through projects offered at the regional

level or through migration dialogues, but could not launch a country-based
project. Considering the current operational needs in BiH as well as

strategic relations with BiH, it is extremely important to intensify the work
of ICMPD to provide required support to BiH authorities.

"= In addition to assistance provided at the technical level, a framework
project _proposal is being drafted by the RCO WBTR to provide more
systematic and extensive support. After the Lipa Camp crisis, WBTR RCO
has been in regular contact with the authorities and the EU Del in BiH to
identify further areas for support. The closure of the Lipa camp has also
triggered a series of considerations to explore a much required additional
type of support that should be given to authorities in BiH, to not only
resolve the current migration crisis but also to have more sustainable
policies and structures in place.

"= Because of these consultations, the Minister of Security welcomed to
receive a project proposal, from ICMPD. MoS also offered ICMPD to be an
implementing partner for a project designed to upgrade the migration
information system of BiH, which will be funded by State Migration
Secretariat of Switzerland.

Purpose of the meeting

= MSP sent a congratulation letter (18 Dec 2020) to the newly (July 2020)
appointed Minister of the Ministry of Security of BiH also announcing plan of
ICMPD to re-open an office in Sarajevo. Mr. Cikotid, in his response (23 Dec
2020), invited ICMPD to get in touch with the Ministry of Security to explore
areas of cooperation and support.

= The phone call was requested by ICMPD in the context of this letter
exchange as well as overall developments as regards the migration
situation in BIH - to get Minister’s view on the expectations of BiH
authorities to get support from ICMPD.

Speaking points

ICMPD can offer support on several levels



Taking note of needs and expectations of BiH authorities and facilitating
communication of these needs with EU and ICMPD MS in order to promote
a good understanding of the situation in BiH;

. Drafting a policy document to elaborate sine qua non elements of an

improved cooperation framework between EU and BiH authorities on
migration matters;

Encouraging EU authorities and ICMPD MS to develop and apply
innovative solutions, including but not limited to cooperation on return,
resettlement and integration related durable solutions;

Facilitation dialogue between BiH and Croatia and Slovenia, in
relation to readmissions as well prevention of push backs;

. Explore possibilities of having a programmatic approach between EU

and BiH to have a structural migration dialogue based on a framework
document, i.e Programme for Migrants-Refugees in BiH;

Supporting the application of complementary solutions to the migration
situation in BiH, rather than only focusing on return and/or providing
humanitarian support to migrants and refugees,

Facilitate migration dialogues and structural cooperation between
BiH/WB, countries of transit (including Greece-Bulgaria), and country of

Exploring possibilities to have investments in BiH, which can be conducted
to facilitate socio- economic integration of migrants in BiH.

Operational level


Providing technical support to authorities in BiH to improve migration
management capakcities;

10.Providing equipment to the authorities in BiH to meet their immediate

most pressing needs and facilitate at least a part of their work;

11.Providing staff support to authorities in BiH through secondments of

technical experts that could be funded through project funds;

12.Supporting BiH authorities in enhancing cooperation with country of

origins and transit;

13.Deployment of ICMPD staff to work in BiH to provide support to authorities.

Planned and possible ACTION POINTS from ICMPD side:



ICMPD prepares a policy document, to be shared with EU, in
cooperation with BiH authorities elaborating the elements that are needed
to support authorities in BiH

. ICMPD prepares a project proposal for project designed to upgrade the

migration information system of BiH (Feb), likely to be funded by SEM
ICMPD temporarily deploys staff to work in Sarajevo (March-TBC)


ICMPD submits project-programme proposals designed to support
Ministry of Security and Service for Foreigners’ Affairs (Feb)

ICMPD opens an office in Sarajevo (April-TBC)

ICMPD organizes an ICMPD MS meeting to inform on the situation and
call for support through proposing complementary solutions

ICMPD organizes a special Budapest Process meeting, among others, to
foster cooperation between BiH and country of origins and transit

ICMPD supports allocation of funds from EU and other donor countries for
the arising needs of the authorities in BiH

BACKGROUND INFORMATION - Migration situation in BiH

After routes of mixed migration flows changed and moved as of 2018 to a new
route from Greece towards to the Croatian border, BiH resulted in being the most
affected country by mixed migration flows in the Western Balkans.

In 2017, BiH had 1,116 registered migrants and in 2018, that number spiked to
24,067, and to 29,196 in 2019. IOM and UNHCR reported that 16,150 migrants
had been registered in BiH during 2020, despite border closures as prevention of
the spread of COVID-19.

The reception capacity for migrants in BiH remains at a similar level as
previously, with (mainly) international organisations setting up (temporary)
camps, while BiH authorities not having technical and financial capacities to
respond directly to the increased inflow of migrants.

As of January 2021, IOM reports around 9,000 migrants and refugees being
present in BiH, of which more than 4,500 are residing in the central Sarajevo
canton (camps Blazuj and Usivak, as well as the southern town of Mostar) in
reception centres. The migrants present in the western Una-Sana Canton (mainly
towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa), are estimated at a similar number, of which
about half are accommodated in reception centres (Miral, Sedra, Barici), and in
the Lipa camp, which was recently and as an emergency support, provided with
tents by the BiH army, while still around 1,000 refugees and migrants are
estimated to stay outside the camps, i.e. sleeping rough.

Funds provided by the EU for the management of the migration crisis mainly
provided for humanitarian needs. With allegediy 90% of the funds spent on the
basic needs of migrants and less than 10% for strengthening the migration
management authorities. It became evident that it is necessary to intensify the
efforts aimed at strengthening the capacities of the migration management
authorities in BiH.

The recent situation related to developments at the Lipa camp (December 2020)
and the planned relocation of the migrants within the country highlighted main
limitations of the migration management structures in BiH and the strong lack of
sustainable policies for managing migration flows in the country: After the Lipa
camp had been closed by international organisations due to the lack of
authorities to provide sustainable infrastructure, and after migrants burnt some
temporary facilities, thousands of migrants had to camp in the open. While the
central government authorities attempted to relocate migrants to former army
barracks in central/southern BiH, the population there protested against this, as
the population in the western Una Sana Canton keeps protesting against
migrants remaining in this western region in higher numbers and against setting
up more permanent facility in this region.

Only with the intervention of the army setting up tents, at least the main number
of migrants were allowed to sleep in shelters provided with some heating and
responding to basic needs.

Local governments, but also representative of the Republika Srpska remain
hesitant to located migrants and to provide continued support, while the

population (according to a variety of media reports), remains of a mixed opinion:
from supporting the removal of migrants from their neighbourhoods to providing
continued support to vulnerable migrants.