Belgrade, 08/19/2021 – The crisis of migrants from Afghanistan threatens the whole of Europe, and the culmination will be if the refugees reach Turkey, says Radoš Đurović, director of Asylum Protection Center.
Although the main messages of the Taliban government in Afghanistan are “forgiveness for all opponents, women’s rights under Islamic law and the desire to make Afghanistan no longer a battlefield”, little of this can be seen in practice.
Evacuation continued from the airport in Kabul, which is still under NATO control, but civilian flights are still prohibited.
The extremists prevent the mass departure of the population by force, with the threat of weapons.
Images of migrants falling from a plane or a woman trying to carry a baby over barbed wire in the hope that at least it will find salvation from the land of terror, are just some that have traveled the world.
Radoš Đurović, executive director of Asylum Protection Center explains that we all know what the Taliban are like, and it is clear that life under them is impossible.
“The Taliban are extremists, no normal person can live under them. In at least three months, we will know what is happening so that we can project a plan for the year. Migration management is one of the most complex tasks that the Commissariat for Refugees and Migrants has to do, and it is not up to it. I say this so that they would increase their professional capacities, so that they could improve their work. Better safe than sorry”, Đurović explains to Nova.rs.
Foto: Medija centar Beograd
When asked whether Serbia is ready for such a large number of migrants, the director of Asylum Protection Center answers that their number is not known exactly, but it is certainly not negligible.
“We are not ready, there is no such plan. We have 6,000 accommodation capacities and that number has not changed since the refugee crisis until today. Not all of them are suitable for winter conditions, and that is not enough even for a small increase in people. I remind you that people come to us every day. Those 6,000 people are a handful. Currently, the capacities in the south are half empty. By that I mean Preševo, Vranje, Bujanovac, Dimitrovgrad, Divljana, all those centers around Niš. Centers around big cities like Obrenovac are not a good solution. Obrenovac is a camp that unites individuals in one small environment. So there are already big tensions at the local level. We were told that we supposedly have another 3,000 capacity, which I have not seen, but that is not enough. We need at least 15,000 beds that we can activate at some point”, emphasizes our interlocutor.
Đurović points out that the 21st century is the century of migration, and that Serbia has to live with it, and it is not up to the mark.
“This is where the responsibility of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migrants is greatest. However, they work in a poor manner chronically. All planning is caused by some occurence and an immediate consequence. We only have a reaction to crises. The number of migrants will increase as the Taliban tightens ever more restrictive measures. On the other hand, the number of people will increase if they are allowed to leave the country. Furthermore, there is also the issue of neighboring countries. If Iran and Pakistan try to stop the entry of people, it will slow down the migration. Migrants choose Iran, Pakistan and then Turkey. When people come to Turkey, then it is already a crisis for Europe. Everything depends on Turkey, they can let the refugees go, and they can even push them to the Greek islands. If it happens according to the scenario of 2015, then the Greek islands can be burdened”, Đurović points out.
He states that along the Balkan route a system has been established by the European Union to slow down migration.
“That means fences in Hungary, in Serbia, towards Macedonia – in Preševo, the fence of North Macedonia towards Greece, and then border controls between Serbia and Hungary, and North Macedonia. “Pushbacks” that happen every day, where Hungary, Romania and Croatia return people to Serbia. There is a mechanism that is provided for emergency situations, as a last resort to stop entry into the EU. In that case, our situation is the most complex, and that is when refugees reach our country and cannot go further. In a situation where we do not cooperate with our neighbors, there will be an impenetrable wall that will return people to Serbia, which is why we must have a strategic solution for every situation”, concludes Đurović.
And the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, called on the citizens of our country to behave humanely towards migrants who, according to him, do not want to come to Serbia.
“Let’s act like people. Serbia will not be a parking lot for someone coming from abroad, but refugees? How can we defend the entry of young people, women, children, babies? I don’t see how that can be a problem for us. Those people are fleeing. That picture when they fall out of the plane, that is the defeat of the modern world”, said the president of Serbia.