Refugees stuck at Macedonian border

Syrian refugees are stranded on their way to Western Europe in no-man’s land between Greece and Macedonia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Syrian and other refugees are stuck at the Greek-Macedonian border,August 22, 2015

Syrian refugees are stranded on their way to Western Europe, in a no-man’s land between Greece and Macedonia, as hundreds more also began to arrive to add to the number of stranded refugees on Saturday.

The refugees and migrants, most of whom are Syrians, have been in no-man’s land between Greece and Macedonia since Thursday. They spent the night sleeping on the ground despite heavy rain and temperatures, which decreased sharply over night.

Macedonian army spokesman Colonel Mirce Gjorgoski told AFP that army troops were deployed throughout the forested hills which line the 50km border, giving no further details.

On Thursday, Macedonia had declared a state of emergency and closed the border for 24 hours.

However, Macedonia decided to let a limited number of refugees in to continue their journey after clashes between police and migrants left at least eight refugees slightly injured    .   

Late on Friday, Macedonian police began allowing groups of several dozen to cross and take a train to the north in a bid to reach Western Europe.

Figures from the UN Refugee Agency show thousands of migrants, most from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have been pouring into Greece on a weekly basis with the aim of traveling through Macedonia and Serbia to reach the European Union, AFP reported on Saturday.


TRTWorld and agencies