Ethnic tensions at migrant camps seen as potential risk

29 May 2016
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Authorities in northern Greece are concerned that clashes may break out along ethnic lines at the new centers hosting migrants and refugees evacuated from the Idomeni border camp this week.

Critics claim that migrants have been grouped together indiscriminately, without due consideration given to their age and ethnic backgrounds. According to reports, children form the majority at most camps, while there has been growing resentment among many migrants over what is perceived as favourable treatment for Syrians when it comes to asylum claims.

Rights groups say conditions at the new camps – located in industrial areas near Thessaloniki – are poor and serve as fertile ground for tension among migrants.

“Tension cannot be avoided and the safety of refugees cannot be guaranteed if Idomeni was evacuated only to create little Idomenis here and there,” Achilleas Tzemos, the deputy coordinator of the Doctors Without Borders team said.

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