• “Refugee Wave” Slowing Down, but Wires and Walls Remain

    20151008 Presica u Opatovcu, Inicijativa Dobrodosli

    According to the information from yesterday’s civil societies coordination meeting at Slavonski Brod camp – 2,066 people entered the camp in the past 24 hours and 1,709 people left the camp. People were brought to the camp by buses and after being registered, they were driven to the train station and taken to Slovenia. The refugees stay at the camp in Slavonski Brod very briefly.

    The organisations that help with the refugees at the camp are providing the humanitarian assistance: tea, warm clothes, lunch packages.  There is also medical assistance available and there are volunteers speaking both Arabic and Farsi.


    Yesterday, several buses came to the camp around 4pm — all refugees have left the camp by 7pm.
    The International Volunteer Day will be marked at the camp on 5 December (Saturday) from 10 am till noon. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) will be the host of the event and they have organised the following:
    • Introductory speech by Ministry of Interior Affairs (MUP) and JRS-a
    • Brief introduction of all the organisations operating in the camp
    • The drawing of “Angels” or “Secret Friends”, reception
    • Gifts and thank you notes for al the volunteers attending the event

    The Initiative “Welcome” will be presented by Ivica Gregurec and Tea Vidović

    The current situation in the region as regards the refugees and the Balkan route:
    Ever since Slovenia started establishing “technical obstacles” three weeks ago for a better “regulation of the refugee influx,” it built two meters high wall with barbed wire across almost 100 km of the border with Croatia, even though it initially said that it would only be 80 kilometres long and it would be removed as soon as the security situation allows it.  Slovenian Ministry of Interior Affairs announced that it set up 96,5 kilometres of fence in 11 municipalities bordering Croatia and added that it would continue to build fence despite the fact that the refugee wave slowed down. The fence has been set up by the military in Razkrižje, Središče ob Dravi, Podlehnik, Žetale, Ormož, Bistrica ob Sotli, Rogatec, Podčetrtek, Brežice, Črnomelj and Metlika municipalities.
    Macedonian police used tear gas to prevent hundreds of refugees, mostly from Pakistan, from entering Macedonia from Greece on Wednesday in order to continue their journey to northern Europe. Some 1,500 Pakistanis, Moroccans and Iranians have been waiting at no man’s land between Greece and Macedonia for weeks after the countries located at the so-called Balkan route started to filtrate migrants and allow only refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to continue their journeys. Desperate refugees started  protests after they have been stranded for days at the tents on the border and freezing at barely above zero temperatures. The violence erupted on Wednesday after 200 people were banned from continuing their journey and started to walk around the newly built fence on the border, trying to find an alternative exit.

    Turkey wants to shut down its border with Syria controlled by the so-called Islamic State, said US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday, stressing that it was in the interest of Ankara to block the smuggling paths used by this jihadist group. During the NATO meeting in Bruxelles, Kerry said that they need to shut down the remaining 98 kilometres long border and added that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan “entirely” agrees with this plan.

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