Report from the Serbian side of the border near Bapska (16:30)

The previous post was actually about the Serbian side of the border near Bapska. Here are some details about the situation there:

There is an improvised camp organized by a Czech group which mainly takes care of refugees crossing the border, making sure this happens in a somewhat orderly fashion so that nobody gets hurt.

Since 11:30 no refugees have arrived. Probably this is because they have to be registered before entering Serbia; once this is done they will be arriving in large numbers during the night/early morning hours. Last night, there was a pause between 1:00 and 5:00 when lots of buses started coming again until 09:00 this morning.

The Red Cross has taken over and makes every supporter register with them. Everybody without registration is banned from continuing their work. This includes both the independent medical team and the people supporting refugees crossing the border. Experience suggests that even if you registered you would only get a vest and be ordered to give apples to refugees instead of continuing to try and really support them.

Local health authorities and the Red Cross have also banned the supporters from giving warm food or tea to refugees passing through. It has been claimed that the stomach problems many refugees are facing were caused by the hygienic conditions in the mobile kitchens. However people who are with Doctors Without Borders have said this is false, were fully supportive of the kitchen’s work and ate their food.

As a result, the mobile kitchen has closed and is being packed right now. There are reports that mobile kitchens in Croatia have also been having problems with health authorities.

Other than the independent supporters, there are several NGOs here who are giving out bananas, apples and tuna to refugees during the day and not much else, apparently.

The motivation behind all of this is obviously not to help refugees coming through as much as possible but to exert control and authority. This has even been openly admitted. And the people who put themselves in control made it very clear that they had no interest in talking to independent supporters who do not belong to any kind of organization.

A properly organized humanitarian aid is entirely possible; this is a homemade crisis.

Source: Activists from no border konvoi. The information has gone through a phone call and subsequent translation. Hopefully, it is still accurate.