Refugee misery continues at Serbia-Croatia border

TRTWorld correspondent Natasha Exelby spends day in Berkasovo on border between Croatia, Serbia with those trying to cross

Photo by: Charlotte DUBENSKIJ
Photo by: Charlotte DUBENSKIJ

Updated Oct 21, 2015

The European Union has been urged to intervene in the continuing migrant crisis. It comes as Slovenia has accused neighbouring Croatia of sending thousands of migrants towards its borders "without control" and ignoring requests to contain the surge.

Thousands of refugees are spending another night with little food and no shelter on the bitterly cold Serbia-Croatia border.

The flood of people follows Croatia's decision to only open the border intermittently, letting just 50 people through each hour .

Huge crowds are sleeping on the side of the road in muddy squalor. Many of the children are in tears. They have empty stomachs and heavy hearts as they struggle to understand why they're being made to wait.

It's clear illness will almost certainly become a problem. The camp is filled with the sound of chesty coughs from frail and freezing bodies.

Many families have been camped out for several days. There are few toilets and no showers. Most people are covered in thick mud, drenched from the heavy rain and biting winds an oncoming Serbian winter brings.

Through the night, bus loads of refugees continue to arrive. They don't know what awaits them. Up until a few days ago the Serbia-Croatia border was a simple crossing. When the reality sets in, they  are filled with fear, frustration and anxious anticipation. Their future is largely out of their control.

Dozens of local volunteers are working around the clock, doing their best to supply food, shelter and unconditional kindness. But their goodwill is outweighed by the reality and gravity of the unfolding situation. There are far more people arriving at the border than are leaving. Volunteers fear the repercussions will be dire if political powers don't take further action.

Author: Natasha Exelby