Migrants attempt new Croatia route

Migrant crisis: Dozens head for Croatia as Hungary border sealed

  • 16 September 2015
  • From the section Europe

The initial group of migrants has reached Serbia’s border with Croatia – a new route into the European Union.

Buses took the migrants towards the town of Sid, following Hungary closed the border with Serbia, stranding thousands attempting to attain Germany – final destination for a lot of.

Croatia has mentioned it will not “just enable folks to move by way of”.

New border restrictions and a row over allocating migrants have shown bitter divisions in Europe more than the crisis.

Hundreds of stranded migrants spent the night in the open or in makeshift tents close to the Serbian border with Hungary. Some gathered wood for fires.

On Tuesday, Hungary declared a state of emergency in the area, with hundreds of army and police deployed to enforce new laws producing it an offence to breach a razor-wire border fence.

Police sealed a railway crossing point near Roszke which had been utilized by tens of thousands of migrants to enter the European border-totally free Schengen zone.

The move has all but stopped the inflow. On Wednesday, Hungarian police mentioned they had detained 367 migrants getting into illegally. A record 9,380 rushed into Hungary on Monday – just just before the border was closed.

Analysis: BBC’s Guy Delauney, Belgrade

All year, Serbia has taken a relaxed attitude towards the migrants and refugees entering from neighbouring Macedonia.

The authorities understood that handful of of the people coming in would want to remain, despite the fact that some expressed regret that men and women desperately fleeing conflict did not view Serbia as a desirable destination.

But Hungary’s fence and its criminalisation of unofficial border crossings has brought a halt to the flow of individuals across Serbia.

If an exit into Hungary becomes not possible, the quantity of refugees here may possibly start to rise, difficult not only the country’s capacity for dealing with asylum seekers but its citizens’ hitherto admirable tolerance and empathy.

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Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Migrants spent the evening out in the open on the Serbian side of the border with Hungary

At midnight (22:00 GMT), Austria became the latest nation to introduce tighter border controls. They apply to the border with Hungary but could be extended.

But Austria insisted no-one particular fleeing persecution would be turned back to Hungary.

Austrian police stated Vienna’s two major stations have been overflowing with migrants and the principal station in Salzburg might have to close.

Austria’s director general for public security, Konrad Kogler, mentioned: “We anticipate that if [Hungary’s] measures are very effective, we will have to deal with diverse new routes.”

The 28-member bloc is facing a huge influx of migrants, numerous of whom are fleeing conflict and poverty in countries like Syria, exactly where a civil war has been raging considering that 2011.

The EU’s border agency says much more than 500,000 migrants have arrived at the EU’s borders this year, compared with 280,000 in 2014.

The group of about 40 migrants arrived at the Serbian border town of Sid early on Wednesday. They had travelled by bus from the Serbian town of Presevo near the Macedonian border in the south.

“We heard that Hungary was closed so the police told us we need to come this way,” Amadou, 35, from Mauritania told AFP news agency.

“We do not know what we must do now. Do we have to catch a boat?”

Croatia’s Assistant Minister for European Affairs Maja Bakran Marcich told the BBC “every thing is calm” on the borders, but that the police presence had been bolstered.

“Croatia would not just allow people to move by way of,” Ms Marcich mentioned.

“They’d get stopped and returned at the Slovenian and Hungarian borders in any case,” Ms Marcich mentioned.

The Serbian minister in charge of the government’s operating committee on migrants, Aleksandar Vulin, argued that the closure of the border by Hungary was unsustainable for Serbia.

He told the BBC’s Lyse Doucet that speak to between Serbian and Hungarian officials had been minimal.

Hungary has also mentioned it could extend its fence to the border with Romania.

Romania said this would violate the “European spirit” of co-operation.

EU members have clashed more than mandatory quotas for refugees.

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