Serbia deploys army near border to protect against migrants

Serbia has sent its army to a town near the border with Croatia where hundreds of migrants remain in hopes of reaching the European Union

BELGRADE, Serbia -- Serbia has sent its army to a town near the border with Croatia where hundreds of migrants remain stranded in hopes of reaching the European Union.

Vucic said he ordered the deployment to protect the local population from alleged harassment and robberies committed by the migrants.

He told TV Prva that after a state of emergency imposed to fight the coronavirus spread in Serbia was lifted earlier this month, the migrants started venturing outside their camps, committing “petty crimes and illegal entries into houses.”

“Because of that people are feeling unsafe,” Vucic said.

There is increased popular resentment toward the migrants and frequent unsanctioned protests by far-right groups are held in front of the camps.

There are an estimated 4,000 migrants stranded in Serbia, one of the main transit routes through the Balkans for people fleeing wars and poverty.

Greece, a country that has struggled to manage large numbers of migrants crossing its borders, took steps Saturday to reunite minors with their families.

Deputy Migration and Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said 508 asylum applicants will soon depart Greece.

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