Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
November 15, 2016
A group of migrants clashed with Serbian police as they tried to enter Croatia on their way to Western Europe.
Some 100 migrants broke a Serbian police cordon on November 14 and tried to enter Croatia across fields, but were stopped by police forces from both countries, who encircled them in the no-man’s-land, witnesses said.
The migrants, largely from Afghanistan and Pakistan, marched for two days on the highway some 125 kilometers from the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and arrived at the border on November 13.
They said they did not want to return to reception centers in Serbia, complaining about living conditions, and demanded free passage to Western Europe.
Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said Croatia would not allow illegal entry to the migrants.
Serbian Interior Minister Nebojska Stefanovic said his country would not allow the migrants to block highways and border crossings to cross into “another country which would not take them.”
According to the United Nations refugee agency, around 6,400 migrants from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are registered in Serbia. But local nongovernmental organizations say the number is close to 10,000.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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