World Bulletin / News Desk
Serbia is to launch joint police and army patrols to beef up its borders against refugees, premier Aleksandar Vucic said Saturday, warning his country would not become a "parking lot" for EU-bound refugees.
The number of refugees blocked in Serbia has grown constantly since Hungary, its northern neighbour, introduced tough new measures aimed at stopping refugees earlier this month.
"We will form joint army and police teams to protect our border," Vucic told reporters, while giving no details of how many troops would be involved.
As of Saturday there were a total of 2,669 refugees in Serbia, of which 85 percent were from Afghanistan and Pakistan and including a very small number of Syrians, Vucic said.
The prime minister warned that refugees entering Serbia without documents and not seeking asylum would be evicted within 30 days. Serbia can accomodate 6,000 to 7,000 refugees.
Vucic urged the European Union to find a "global solution" to the tide of refugees which began flooding in last year, triggering Europe's worst such crisis since World War II.
He warned that Serbia would not be a "parking lot for Afghans and Pakistani arrived in Serbia from EU countries, whom no one wants."
Serbia lies on the so-called Balkan route crossed by hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa since last summer on their way to western Europe.
Although the route effectively shut down in March refugees have however continued to cross the region in smaller numbers, often with the help of smugglers.
Serbian authorities said recently that 102,000 refugees had been registered since the start of the year -- more than 500 a day.
Last Mod: 16 Temmuz 2016, 15:50