Over 1,200 migrants have massed on the Serbian-Hungarian border as many fear the area could turn into another Idomeni-style migrant camp.
The Balkan route continues to see more migrants crossing into Europe but now due to the stricter regulations by the Hungarian government, many migrants have become stuck on the Serbian border. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warns that a new Idomeni-style makeshift migrant camp is starting to form in the area and already over 1,200 migrants have arrived, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine.
Media in Serbia are already likening conditions in the border village of Horgos to those found in the Greek camps in Idomeni that have since been evacuated by Greek authorities. Authorities claim that the camp could grow rapidly in size and though the numbers are currently at 1,200, they don’t rule out the possibility of tens of thousands being stranded on the border over the summer months.
Serbian state broadcaster RTS has blamed the new Hungarian migrant law that came into effect earlier this month. The law has created a zone of deportation around eight kilometres from the border with Serbia, and the Hungarian border guards have routinely rounded up migrants and sent them back to Serbia.
The strict rejection of migrants has put pressure on the Serbian government in Belgrade. Acting Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić claimed that he was a supporter of the policies and governing style of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, but said even his admiration has its limits.
Reiterating his stance since the start of the migrant crisis, Prime Minister Vučić said: “We act responsibly and behave responsibly. I believe in the politics of Mrs. Merkel and am neither nervous nor afraid.” This stance is not universally accepted in Serbia as many of the critics of the government have called for the closing of the borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria in the same manner that the Hungarians have done on their own borders.
The United Nations have also come out against the Hungarian government saying Hungary’s tough border controls will only further the “inhumane conditions” in the new migrant camp. A spokesman for the UNHCR went even further saying Mr. Orbán’s government “violate[s] international law and do[es] not respect the human rights of migrants, by forcibly expelling them without any legal process.”
The emerging crisis in the border region proves once again that the flow of migrants through the Balkan route has not halted but is in fact gaining momentum as the summer months go on. Earlier this year Breitbart London reported that the Hungarian border fences were being tested by migrants.
According to the European Union (EU) border agency Frontex, the political bloc is still not prepared for another large wave of migrants, and it is possible the growing number of migrants could overrun the borders as they did last year.