Macedonia “selects” migrants: thousands are stuck at the border

La nazione balcanica ha deciso di far passare sul proprio territorio solo i migranti provenienti da paesi in guerra. Gli altri restano bloccati.

Macedonia has decided to “classify” migrants arriving at the border depending on their nationality: who comes from countries involved in wars can enter the country, whilst the others are blocked. This is what the news agengy AFP has reported, citing local sources. Therefore, thousands of people coming from Iran, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, Bangladesh, and Somalia are currently stuck at the Macedonia-Greece border.

“My wife and my kids entered the country easily during summer,” said a 49-year-old Yemeni man to the French news agency. “They’re now in Sweden. I don’t know how to reach them. I’m stuck. If I’m not allowed to enter, my life stops at this border”. Alongside this man, at least 1,500 migrants are blocked at the Macedonian border of Gevgelija (Idomeni, in Greek).


Centinaia di migranti sono bloccati al confine tra Macedonia e Grecia © Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Hundreds of migrants are blocked at the border between Macedonia and Greece © Matt Cardy/Getty Images


Greece’s Minister for Migratory Policies, Iannis Mouzalas, said that Greek authorities on the border try to convince migrants the Macedonian border will be not opened again. In response to this closure ordered by Skopje’s government, migrants have organised protests in different forms. Some wrote on their arms and faces the names of their country of origin: “Why can’t we go on? Aren’t we human beings, like those coming from Iraq or Syria?”, they wonder. Others had billboards and yelled against police forces. A hundred people occupied the railway connecting Athens to Macedonia, preventing trains to pass through. 5 people have sewed their lips, going on hunger strike.


Lo stato della ex Yugoslavia ha deciso di far passare solamente chi arriva da un paese in guerra ©Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Macedonia blocks migrants from non-war countries ©Matt Cardy/Getty Images


In the meanwhile, migrants define camp’s conditions as “miserable”, due to cold and uncertainty. Indeed, some have decided to go back to Athens. “As Africans, they said we won’t be allowed to pass,” affirmed a Ugandan girl while she was getting on a bus headed back to Greece’s capital.


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