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Dimitrovgrad / Serbia – Beginning of January 2016 Report (01-10.1.2016)

by InfoPark

The beginning of 2016 was very slow in Dimitrovgrad. The refugee influx was almost non existing in the first days of the new year. The town was snowed in and temperatures were very low (up to -12C overnight). The extended NYE holidays on both sides of the border and especially a start of the hunting season in Bulgaria (which scared refugees who are using forest tracks) lead to decreasing number of refugees averaging about 20-30 daily.

Dimitrovgrad / Serbia – Beginning of January 2016 Report (01-10.1.2016) weiterlesen

Situation in Dimitrovgrad (Bulgarian/Serbian border)

by Jacob (independent volunteer)

General Situation
Dimitrovgrad is a small town in Serbia of 12,000 inhabitants and located near the Bulgarian border. Since the beginning of last summer, 100 to 200 refugees arrive in Dimitrovgrad every single day coming from Bulgaria. Due to the short distance to Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria), Dimitrovgrad is currently the most important  hotspot for migrants crossing the Serbian-Bulgarian border. Refugees traveling through Bulgaria usually enter Bulgaria near the Turkish town Edirne. After Bulgaria they usually cross Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and stay in Germany, or they go further to Belgium, Netherlands, the UK or the Scandinavian countries. Most of the refugees arriving in Dimitrovgrad end up there, because the did not have enough money for the passage from Turkey to one of the Greek islands, which requires at least 1.000 EUR per person for paying the smugglers operating the boats.

Situation in Dimitrovgrad (Bulgarian/Serbian border) weiterlesen

Solidarity with the protesters and hunger strikers in Idomeni!

Source/other languages

We are currently setting up an Infopoint for the people who are pushed back at the Greek-Macedonian Border in Idomeni.
In order to show the people who are protesting that their calls are being heard and their struggle is recognised in Europe and across the world, we are asking for individuals and groups to send statements of solidarity: small moments of support for those fighting for their freedom of movement. Declarations of unity to those struggling against Fortress Europe. Send us whatever sign of support comes to your mind. We will be present in Idomeni with printer, megaphone and camera. We will print all statement, photographs and poems. Play the words of solidarity. And report back on what happens. Let us prove that no fence, no wall and no military presence can seal borders. Let us be there to show support and solidarity to those in struggle. And if not in person, than in word, picture and sound. Send us your solidarity call to!

Walls fall only when those shaking their foundations are being heard!

Croatian-Slovenian border

News from a kitchen working at the spot:

  • in the morning the UNHCR set up another tent
  • at 6 pm a train with 1800 people arrived in Cakovec
  • people were sent with buses to Sredisce
  • 300 came to Petisovci, 1200 stayed, 300 to Brezice?
  • at the night: 2000-4000 people apparently crossed the Croatian-Slovenian border by foot (Brogova / Dobrova)
  • Brezice ist the main registration center, structures and support are there. Food is provided, but probably now warm food.
  • NEEDED: men‘s clothes, shoes size 40 and taller, warm & rain clothes (jackets & coats)

Croatian-Slovenian border

News from a kitchen working at the spot:

  • about 11 pm 5 buses with refugees arrived in Petisovsci (Slovenia) from Cakovec (Croatia)
  • people got hot food & clothes & left over night again
  • 10,000 people reached Croatia
  • they don‘t seem to accept Slovenia‘s restriction of only 2,500 people per day, so more could come over


From No Border Zagreb:

Since Hungary effectively closed its border for migrants the route has been redirected by the Croatian state towards Slovenia. Slovenian government agreed to allow the passage as long as Austria and Germany keep their borders open, but only for up to 2500 persons per day (although, on saturdey they took in some 3600). This is supposedly the number for which they have a capacity to accommodate/process/transfer.

This would effectively mean a slowdown, as the average number of people crossing from Serbia to Croatia in the last weeks was around 5000 people per day. The consequences of this approach were felt from the first day: Croatian side slowed down the flow from the border with Serbia, which results in hundreds and eventually thousands of people stranded in the area of Sid/Berkasovo/Bapska/Tovarnik for longer and longer periods of time.

So, in a way, while we expected the worst case scenario of the chain-closings of the borders, we are seeing the effect of not the complete closure but a slowdown instead. While the part of the route on Croatia-Slovenia-Austria part seems to be going well for now (see the report from Slovenia below) as it is organised by state actors – with limited or no access for independent activists and taking away any autonomy of the migrants, we will see how the situation will develop on Croatia-Serbia border.

Already on Sunday we see desperate calls for volunteers from the area of Sid and Bapska, as a lot of activities moved to the area of Presevo where the needs were greater over the previous week. Even the RC in Opatovac camp seem to be in need for more volunteers. However, it looks like croatian government will only allow the crossing of a certain number of people from serbian side, for which they can provide accommodation space in the camp(s). After that, the same as Slovenia with Austria, the will allow in the same number of people as Slovenia takes in…