Europe Migrant Crisis: Hungary Closes Border With Serbia, Migrants Taken To Austrian Border
Hungary has sealed its borders with Serbia on Monday as it attempts to stem the stream of migrants and refugees affected from war-torn Syria and beyond desperately managing to sneak in through a single crossing before midnight.
To liberate Hungary from migrants, almost 8,000 people were transported from the Hungarian village of Roszke near the Serbian border early Monday morning, Rights group Migration Aid estimated. They were taken from two camps and a collection point at Roszke to the Austrian border or other camps near the Hungarian border, as reported by Yahoo News.
“Our information is that special trains are taking migrants from Roszke (train) station direct without stopping to the Austrian border,” Erno Simon, a Hungary spokesman for the UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe, said. Simon further said that it was an “approximately a four-hour journey. Yesterday (Sunday) three such trains left carrying at least 2,000 people. During the night our colleagues saw police waking people up at the border collection point.”
Although Serbia is not part of the European Union, Hungary is; which is why throngs of migrants have used it as a route to travel to richer and thriving northern and western European countries, as reported by NBC News. As many as 190,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Hungary from Serbia this year, escaping the war-torn areas of Middle East, Africa and Asia. Police said that majority of these people crossed the water from Turkey to Greece.
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While border limitations and razor-wires have been placed into effect along the Serbian border, Sunday witnessed 5,809 people arriving in Hungary. This broke the previous day’s record of 4,330. This rapid escalation came in the wake of new Hungarian laws, according to which people entering the European Union illegally are liable to be jailed for up to three years.
Meanwhile, Austria has also said it will put in place stricter border controls. Armed forces and personnel will be deployed along the eastern frontier. The development came after Germany announced that it will impose border controls to stem the rapid influx of migrants and refugees, according Morning News USA. “If Germany carries out border controls, Austria must put strengthened border controls in place,” Austrian Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner said, as reported by NPR. “We are doing that now.”
The European Union is currently engaged in a debate regarding how to effectively deal with the crisis. Morgan Johansson, Sweden’s justice and migration minister, said he hopes that the EU will “redistribute” 120,000 migrants that have arrived in Italy, Greece and Hungary, “because we really need to share this responsibility with solidarity with other countries.”
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Mohammed Al-Hamdan, from Syria, was one of the migrants who managed to make it through before the police closed the railroad crossing. He said he hadn’t been able to get any sleep for three days. He was in Greece the day before, trying to arrive in Serbia and Macedonia.
“We have to hurry up,” he said. “They’re going to close the border soon.
“I’m not happy,” he said. “I had to leave Syria — I love Syria, but so much killing there.”
Amer Abudalabi, from the Syrian capital Damascus, said, “We heard the Hungarians will close the border on September 15th so we had to hurry from Greece. We have not slept since Saturday morning… I’m so tired. I won’t believe it when we cross into Hungary.”