Croatia Closes Border with Serbia, Slovenia Denied Refugees Entrance

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Croatia has closed border with Serbia due to the large number of refugees that have crossed into that country in the last two days.

More than 11.000 refugees came to Croatia, after Hungary sealed of the border with Serbia. Croatian authorities stated that they are not able to handle that many refugees as their estimates of the number of refugees that would arrive have been heavily surpassed.

“Don’t come here anymore, stay in refugee centers in Serbia, Macedonia and Greece. This isn’t a road to Europe, buses can’t take you there anymore. That’s a lie“, said Ranko Ostojić, Croatian police minister.

However, despite the borders being closed, refugees are still coming trough fields, ABC News reporter Nasser Atta reports.

The decision to close the borders was condemned by Serbian officials. Minister of work and social politics Aleksandar Vulin said that he is sorry that Croatia closed borders after only two days.

“If Serbia had closed its border when in one night from Macedonia more than 9.000 refugees came, Macedonia would today be faced with complete collapse and EU with a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented scale“, said Vulin.

He added that Serbia will, if needed, go to international courts to protect its interests.

Authorities are using old military barracks in Beli Manastir to accommodate refugees. They planned accommodation for 900, but more than 2.000 arrived and tents were set up.

Croatian index.hr reports that there is not enough food or tents in Beli manastir. The barracks where some of the refugees are accommodated doesn’t have electricity.

During the day, some of the refugees fainted waiting in the heat, and one man had a heart attack.

Similarly, buses and trains that Croatia provided to transport refugees were far from enough to accommodate all of the refugees.

Croatian Red Cross said that its reserves of food and water have been used up, and called for citizens and state to help. Croatian emergency reserves provided five tons of food for today, but more will be needed in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Slovenia has returned a train with refugees that came from Croatia. To this point, no refugees were allowed to cross into Slovenia.  One person was arrested when he tried to jump of the train and stay in Slovenia.

Now it is expected that refugees will come to Bosnia and Herzegovina and from there try to enter Croatia.

Predrag Jović, deputy of Minister for human rights and refugees of BiH, recently said that Bosnia can expect 25.000 to 30.000 refugees until the end of September.

Authorities have prepared for this scenario for some time, but it is questionable how the state will respond. Instead of state, it’s expected that taking care of refugees will rest on citizens who have in the last 40 days sent more than 100 tons of food and other supplies to refugees in Belgrade.




About Author

Agan Uzunović is a journalist from Bosnia and Herzegovina writing for Revolution News and Bosnian media. Follow him on Twitter @AganU8.