Hungarian army conducts exercise to guard border

Hungarian army conducts military exercises to protect its border amid refugee crisis

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Hungary's new fence on the 175-kilometre border with Serbia

The Hungarian army started military exercises, called “Decisive Action,” on Wednesday for a possible role in guarding its southern border from influx of refugees.

The exercises came after hundreds of refugees broke through the police lines in Hungarian border with Serbia for a third day running Sept. 9. The break-out took place near Roszke, where refugees were waiting to register to cross from Serbia. Most of them were Syrian, Afghan and Pakistani, who fled their worn-torn countries.

Hungarian Chief of Staff General Tibor Benko said "It is our job to make sure Hungary is defended."

Budapest is planning to deploy soldiers to help police patrol at the border where thousands of refugees are crossing from Serbia every day. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the army could not be deployed to the border before Sept. 20, due to the legislative process.   

Hungary has already completed a new razor-wire barrier along its 175-kilometre (110-mile) frontier with Serbia, and is setting up an additional four-metre (13-foot) fence. Orban speeded up the construction of the fence. A senior member of Orban’s ruling Fidesz party said on Tuesday that the fence would be completed by November.

"Everyone has to get ready to do intensive work in the coming weeks," Orban told a Hungarian newspaper.

The measures have not been successful to stop the influx of refugees into the country crossing from the border with Serbia up to now. 150,000 refugees have arrived in Hungary this year.

Authorities expect 40,000 more refugees to cross Hungary by next week.

Human rights watchdogs, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have criticised Hungary’s response to the refugee crisis.

"Kids just passed out from exhaustion everywhere at Hungary border, remember Aylan Kurdi?" wrote Human Rights Watch's Emergency Director Peter Bouckaert on his Twitter account.

More than 2,700 refugees were stopped as entering the country on Wednesday, according to Hungarian police.

On Tuesday, a Hungarian camerawoman working for a national channel was laid off after she kicked refugees running from security personnel.

TRTWorld and agencies