On Wednesday, Croatia found itself dragged into migrant crisis as the first group of refugees reached its borders walking through fields across Serbia’s border.
More than 100 migrants crossed into the EU nation from neighboring Serbia, a new route for the stranded refugees to northern European Union countries. The move comes a day after Hungary sealed its border with Serbia.
Croatia said that the local authorities are prepared to tackle the influx of migrants, mainly Syrians. The Schengen member Croatia is willing to receive them or direct them to where they want to go, majority hoping to reach Germany.
According to reports, on Wednesday the border town of Sid in Serbia received a group of migrants, who had traveled by bus from the Serbian town of Presevo near the Macedonian border. The Croatian authorities have taken into custody the arriving migrants and began registering them.
Zoran Milanovic, the Prime Minister of Croatia, criticized Hungary’s decision to seal the border. Speaking to the parliament, he said “we are ready to accept and direct those people, they will be able to pass through Croatia and we are working intensively to enable that.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Hungary declared a state of emergency with hundred of security officers deployed to enforce new laws making it an offence to breach a razor-wire border fence. The move has all but stopped the inflow. Many now hope to enter EU member Croatia and then Slovenia, which is part of Europe’s Schengen zone of border-free travel, and beyond to Austria and Germany.
According to border agency, more than 500,000 migrants have arrived at the EU’s borders this year as compared to 280,000 last year. Most of the people are fleeing conflict and poverty in countries including Syria, where a civil war has been raging since 2011.
The asylum seekers have been entering Turkey via land border and then they wait to organize a sea crossing into Greece. Next, their journey would take them to Macedonia and Serbia. IMAGE/ Armend Nimani/ AFP/ Getty Images