Refugee Crisis: Hungary Sends More Troops to Border
The Hungarian government has announced the deployment of an additional 1,500 troops and police officers on its border with Serbia, as it extended a nationwide state of emergency in response to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.
Interior Minister Sandor Pinter made the announcement during a press conference in Hungary’s capital Budapest late on Wednesday.
The move comes just a day after Slovenia announced the closure of its border crossings to those who do not have valid European Union entry visas, effectively blocking the Balkan route that refugees use to reach Western Europe, Al Jazeera reported.
Referring to the decision to deploy more security forces on the border, Pinter said: “We do not know how the migrants stuck in the Balkan countries will react”.
Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia have drastically tightened border restrictions since late 2015, leading to a sharp increase in refugees attempting to breach Hungary’s 175-kilometre fence on the Serbian border.
“There have been breaches at various points along the Hungarian-Serbian border,” a Hungarian police spokesperson told Al Jazeera, explaining that generally between 100 and 200 people are arrested for crossing the fence each day.
On Tuesday, the police said that 127 people were caught attempting to enter Hungary from Serbia. They are among the 976 people arrested by Hungarian police since March 1 for breaching the fence.