Skoplje, March 10 – Forty refugees and migrants from Iraq and Afghanistan escaped from the camp in Tabanovci yesterday, which now houses about 1,400 people, who have been stuck there for days and weeks.
Although there is no official confirmation about the information, 44 people took advantage of the moment when the camp lost electricity, hopped the fence and fled in an unknown direction. MUP also did not confirm this news, nor did they provide information on whether there was a search for them and a search in the border villages of Vaksinace and Lojane, where refugees were most likely headed towards and where there are probably several hundred other refugees and migrants.
Otherwise, the situation in the camp is tense and nervousness is growing with each passing hour. About a thousand refugees from Afghanistan have been here for three weeks, as they overnight became “undesirable” to the EU and the border ramps have been closed along the Balkan route. There are also 450 Syrian refugees sleeping in the border area with Serbia for three days outdoors, at low temperatures in constant rain. The Serbian authorities closed the border with them without a previous announcement and did not allow them to enter.
This situation arose due to a decision taken at a summit in Brussels on Sunday, where it was agreed to close all illegal crossings along the Balkan route. The conditions set for refugees to cross the borders are almost impossible and the Balkan route, which has spent more than a million refugees in nine months, is no longer working, although no country has officially confirmed it.
This situation will not change before March 17, when the summit of the Council of Europe is scheduled, where the announcements should be agreed for the weekend. According to the agreement, Turkey will bring the greatest burden on the crisis, but in order to do so, Ankara is seeking another three billion euros next to the already three billion euros approved, visa free regime for its citizens, and the acceleration of the EU accession process, strongly opposed by Greece and Hungary.
European leaders have agreed on the resettlement of refugees from Greece and Turkey to be carried out exclusively by plane, to countries that will agree to receive refugees who meet the new conditions. Officially, the door will be open for Syrian citizens.
The situation on the southern border remains unchanged. The “gate” near the border stone 59 has been closed for the third day, and it will remain at least until March 17th. On the other side of the fence, there are already 14 thousand refugees in Idomeni Camp and their number is growing. Most of them are Syrian families who have been stuck there for ten days. They waited for hours for water and food, a lack of medicine and medical materials is noticeablem thousands are sleeping under the open sky, which as a result of bad weather increases the risk of infectious diseases. In Idome, tension and rage grow from hour to hour. At this moment, a section from Gevgelija to Dorjan, on the Greek side, has four camps where more than 22 thousand refugees reside.