Macedonian police teargas thousands of refugees crossing from Greece

Published on Aug 21, 2015 – RT

The Macedonian army was mobilised to block thousands of asylum seekers and refugees trying to cross into the country from Greece, near Idomeni on Friday. Some 3,000 refugees are currently living in the buffer zone between the two nations; people are sleeping out in the open as they wait, in the hope that Macedonia will open its border. Daim, a refugee from Damascus, said “there are a lot of children here suffering from the cold, as well as the lack of food and water.”

The crisis comes as the Macedonian government, on August 20, declared a state of emergency in two border regions to tackle the growing refugee crisis. The move permits the army to be deployed to manage the situation.

Up to 44,000 people have reportedly travelled through Macedonia in the past two months alone. Migrants rarely apply for asylum in Macedonia, instead passing through the country on their way to northern European nations like Germany and Sweden. Greece alone has received, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) figures, 124,000 migrants this year, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, with 50,000 people arriving in July alone.

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