Over 103,000 migrants transited Serbia since January

Closing Balkan route does not halt flow, says minister

23 August, 20:00

    (ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, AUGUST 23 - Despite the closing of the Balkan route in recent months, the flow of migrants from the Middle East to Serbia continues, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin said Tuesday.

    Vulin is in charge of dealing with the migrant emergency in the country. Speaking in Presevo along the country's southern border with Macedonia, where the head of UNHCR in Serbia Hans-Friedrich Schodder inaugurated a new wing extension for the local reception center, Vulin said that most of the migrants enter Serbia illegally from Bulgaria and Macedonia. He noted that over 103,500 migrants had crossed through the country since January 1, over 5,000 had been pushed back and 356 traffickers have been reported to the authorities for trying to aid an abet illegal border crossing. Vulin added that over 7,300 migrants had filed asylum requests in Serbia, though most of them did so only to regularize their temporary stay in the country before heading to Western Europe. The new pavilion unveiled on Tuesday can accommodate another 650 migrants in the Presevo reception center, which will thus be able to house an overall 1,500 people. Some 520 migrants and refugees are currently staying in the center. (ANSAmed).

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