FYROM blocks border, 5000 refugees trapped in Greece

21 November 2015
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More than 5,000 refugees are trapped at the Idomene transit camp as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) builds a fence on its border with Greece.

The FYROM government announced the raising of a fence in an effort to block refugees and migrants heading to Central Europe earlier in the week. About 200 Iranians have been protesting at the entry point since Thursday, causing problems to the normal flow of refugees. Construction is underway of a 1.5 kilometre long barbed wire fence overseen by the Balkan state’s army. It is set to run from close to the Greek town of Idomene to the bank of the Axios River.

Thousands of migrants and refugees have crossed into FYROM from Greece over the past few weeks. Police reports from central Macedonia reported that around 4,000 refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq had passed through the fields as of 6 am on Friday.

Meanwhile, the refugee transit camp at Idomene is overcrowded with over 5,000 refugees. “We are trying to handle the situation. We distributed blankets, food and pitched two large tents of the International Organisation for Migration,” said Alexandros Voulgaris of UNHCR, speaking to the ANA-MPA.

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