Monday, 29 November 2021 | News today: 0

Police units on the border with Greece allow only limited number of most vulnerable migrants through

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Macedonian Interior Ministry issued a press release informing that the units deployed on the border with Greece, in order to prevent crossing of migrants through illegal border crossings, are allowing a limited number of refugees to come through. This applies to the vulnerable categories, the Ministry informs, adding that soon Army units will join the police in securing the border, which was widely used in the so­-called Balkan migration route over the past year.

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Tensions flared briefly on Thursday and Friday, as migrants tried to push through police lines, and were pushed back. The Macedonian Government declared a crisis situation in the southern Gevgelija border region, opposite Greece, and along the northern border with Serbia, where migrants also grouped before crossing the border on their way toward Schengen zone countries.

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The Interior Ministry informs that the number of persons expressing desire to claim asylum in Macedonia was greatly reduced after the border was closed. While in earlier days about 1.300 people applied daily, on Thursday, only 181 applied. Most of them, 148, were from Syria, followed by groups from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Nine of them were children, and 17 are women.

Since introducing legal changes that allowed migrants to express interest to claim asylum in Macedonia on 19 June, a total of 41.500 foreign citizens used this opportunity, most of them (33.600) from Syria. Most of them eventually left the country without actually applying for asylum. Meanwhile, the teams fielded by the Red Cross provided assistance to 125 persons, including 16 pregnant women, and distributed 120 packs of water, personal hygiene supplies and blankets.