Serbia would employ the army to obstruct the expulsion of refugees back to Serbia

Author: Gergely NYILAS Original title:  Hadsereggel állná Szerbia útját a visszatoloncolásnak
Publication: , Photo:MTI-Balázs MOHAI Date: 15/09/2015

Serbia would employ the army to obstruct the expulsion of refugees back to Serbia

Serbia would even employ the army to obstruct Hungary’s expulsion of people crossing the border illegally [sic!] back to its territory – the Serbian Labour and Social Affairs State Secretary was quoted by the M1 (Hungarian State Television – trans.) correspondent. In the words of the politician, only those who sought asylum in Serbia but left the country before the process was carried out would be accepted back to the country. Belgrade is aware of about 500 such persons. The Serbian side will not use the police or military forces to obstruct the free passage of the refugees to Hungary until Monday evening.

According to their plans, they do not intend to do so, later, either: “We will not close the borders in front of the refugees, but we will build more temporary camps along the Hungarian border” – the Serbian Minister of Labour told B92 (Serbian alternative radio – trans.). Aleksandar Vulin spoke about new reception centres to be set up in Voivodina, in Sombor, near the existing Kanjiža camp, in Šid lying near the Croatian border, and in Subotica. True, Belgrade plans the expansion of the capacity not from the Serbian budget, but from EU sources.

At the same time, it is not a question for Serbia that the country will face increasing difficulties as of Tuesday, after Hungary tightens the regulations, illegal border-crossers can be treated as perpetrators of crimes, and the opportunity for free passage across the railway tracks at Röszke will be eliminated. The latter was already achieved on Monday evening with the freight carriage covered in razor-wire pushed in to lock the gate. The question is, of course, how long Serbia can keep up with their open borders, hoping that the refugees will leave the country as soon as possible. With the closing of the Hungarian borders and the possibility of repatriation, assuming Belgrade will not be able to prevent this, the number of stranded migrants in Serbia may suddenly increase exponentially.

The Serbian Prime Minister already expressed his concern earlier that the time the refugees arriving from Macedonia on their way to Western Europe spend in the country may increase from 2-3 days (or as little as 12 hours, as in the transport arranged by the government in the final rush before the border closing) to 5-10 days. Alexander Vučić asked the citizens for patience and understanding of the refugees. In concord with him, on Monday the Labour Minister re-emphasised that the development of a common, clear scenario with the EU is necessary. “We have said several times to call us, to include us in developing the plans because, even though we are not part of the EU, we are struggling with the same problem, which must be solved the at the borders, or even outside of the EU.

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