There are more and more migrants in Serbia, and they are becoming restless.
Will Croatia find itself flooded with about 7,000 migrants who are currently in Serbia, and who will not be able to go further to the West because other countries will not accept them? Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić announced on Tuesday that his country would send military to its borders with Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania and close them, reports Večernji List on October 5, 2016.
Serbia’s border with Hungary has long been closed for migrants due to fence and increased surveillance. This means that the easiest way for frustrated migrants is to go through Croatia. Despite such possible scenario, Croatia has no plans to put up a border fence or to send army to the border.
“We cooperate with all our neighbours, including Serbia, when it comes to migrant crisis. All who tried to illegally enter Croatia have been returned”, said Foreign Minister Miro Kovač. Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić said that the police “was firmly protecting” the border and that 7,000 migrants who are now in Serbia will certainly not end up “trapped” in Croatia since they will not be admitted to enter. It can be assumed that Serbia, if Western countries decide they will not accept them, would send them back to where they came from – Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania.
The Ministry of Defence said that there was a real possibility that a new refugee wave could start, but added that sending the army to the borders was the third line of defence. The first step is the border between Turkey and Greece, and then the Macedonian-Greek border, where Croatian police is already providing help. Sending army units to Croatian border is the last option.
On Tuesday, hundreds of migrants which have been temporarily accommodated in Serbia started marching on foot from Belgrade to the border with Hungary, demanding that the border be opened. The column of men, mostly people under 30 years of age, blocked several roads in Serbia. Protesters carried placards saying they did not want to stay in Serbia. At the start of the protest, violence broke out when a group of migrants refused to join the other protesters.
In other migrant related news, Croatian police officers who are protecting its border with Serbia protested that they did not have enough cars and other equipment. Apparently, several police officers even refused orders, which was the reason for a special meeting to be held at the Vukovar-Srijem Police Department. They informed their commanders about the problems and they allegedly promised that all the issues would be solved.