Refugees stuck at Croatia’s border with Slovenia

Hundreds demanding entry to Slovenia from Croatia en route to Western Europe stranded in a stretch of no-man’s land.

Hundreds of male refugees are stuck at the Croatian border with Slovenia, with some already waiting for three days in a stretch of no-man’s land between the two countries, hoping to get through.

Tensions ran high at a border on Sunday as refugees, blocked from entering Slovenia, shouted and kicked at the border fence near the Croatian village of Harmica, demanding entry. 

Around 300 refugees were stuck at the border crossing after Croatia decided to let them pass through the country on their way to Western Europe, in response to receiving more than 20,000 people over the past four days.

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With the vast majority deciding to continue into Hungary and Slovenia, Slovenian authorities installed cordons of riot police at border crossings, letting only a limited number of women and families with children into the country.

Those allowed to cross into Slovenia were put on buses, taking them to reception centres elsewhere in the country, while others had no choice but to wait at the border crossing. 

Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee, reporting from Ljubljana on Monday, said conditions across the border in Slovenia were “very different”.


“There are beds here, plenty of food, and medical facilities […] for once it looks like a country with a system,” he said.

Bostjan Sefic, a spokesperson for Slovenia’s immigration department, told Al Jazeera the government was “trying to go through these procedures in the most organised way in the best interest of the migrants”.

“I hope that we will be able to fulfil this task to the last migrant that comes to Slovenia,” Sefic said.

On Sunday, Slovenia’s ambassador to Germany was quoted  as saying that his country would accept “up to 10,000” refugees.

For its part, the US said it would increase the number of refugees it takes in by 15,000 over each of the next two years, bringing the total to 100,000 in 2017.

The US will accept 85,000 refugees from around the world next year, up from 70,000, Kerry said at a news conference on Sunday with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, after they discussed the mass migration of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war.

The International Organization for Migration said that around 474,000 people had so far made trips across the Mediterranean into Europe.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies