Migrants Walk from Belgrade Towards Croatia

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Migrants demand to be allowed passage to Western Europe.

A group of around 150 migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan set off on Friday on foot from Belgrade in Serbia towards Croatia, demanding free and safe passage to Western Europe, reports Večernji List on November 11, 2016.

The migrants, mostly men, are moving accompanied by the police on the Belgrade-Zagreb motorway, which caused traffic to slow down and a traffic jam near the Belgrade Airport. Serbian media reported that it was “another protest of migrants who want to open the borders to continue their journey to Western Europe”.

“I think this is a consequence of information they received from certain NGO representatives, who have given them false hope that they can cross the border, which is not the case… This is not the way to enter any country. Nobody will let them pass”, said Ivan Mišković, a spokesman for Serbia’s Commission for Refugees and Migrants.

Migrants are carrying banners “Please, open the border”, “No more war”. They are walking with backpacks and blankets, many are dressed inappropriately for the rain and low temperatures, and some are even in slippers. Migrants say they will wait at the border with Croatia until it is opened, and most intend to go to Italy and France, and not to Germany.

In early October, another group of migrants headed north to the border with Hungary, but after a few dozen kilometres they gave up due to the rain and cold.

There are currently around 6,500 migrants in Serbia. Joint police and military forces patrol along the borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria to prevent illegal entry. Serbian Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin recently said that Serbia did not intend to expand its capacity to accommodate migrants.

Stating that about a hundred people a day entered Serbia, Vulin added that about 30 persons a day entered Hungary, but that Hungarian authorities returned many of them to Serbia. “We can accommodate 6,000 people and we will not increase that number”, said Vulin.


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