Europe in Danger: Number of refugees on the Balkan route has “increased by a factor of two” since 2017

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Cover photo: Refugees and migrants on the Balkan route. Photo: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP / Getty Images

The number of refugees from Turkey to the Western Balkans to the border of the EU has grown rapidly. The number has at the moment compared to 2017 “twelve-fold”, they say.

The number of refugees from Turkey to the Western Balkans to the border of the EU has grown rapidly. This is reported by the German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” in its current issue. According to the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), the “focal point of illegal migration” is Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The local border police, informs the BMI of the “time” on request, currently register “daily 100 to 150 migrants in the unauthorized entry”, this number has at the moment compared to 2017 twelve-folded.

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According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4,373 cases of illegal entry have been registered from 1 January to 20 May this year.

In the whole of 2017, there were only 755. In the northern Bosnian cities of Bihac and Velika Kladu a, according to the UNHCR, about a thousand refugees and migrants were waiting for a chance to travel further north via Croatia to Slovenia.

A quarter of the refugees and migrants in Bosnia are Syrians, followed by Pakistanis, Afghans, Iraqis and Libyans.

The Western Balkans Albania and Montenegro are also reporting a doubling of refugee numbers, albeit at a lower level. According to UNHCR, a new escape route extended by smugglers will cross the Turkish border river Evros to Greece, Albania and Montenegro as far as Bosnia.

This way is not safe. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 9 refugees and migrants already drowned in Evros between the beginning of January and the end of March 2018.

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