Skopje, 8 January 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
The wave of refugees from the Middle East continues in FYR Macedonia, but international police officers have been involved in order to cope with the situation. So far, 61 police officers from Southeastern European countries along with Macedonian police officers are controlling the southern border with Greece.
Minister of Interior informed that their presence on the border aims at controlling illegal crossing of refugees. In the coming days, police officers from Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic are also expected to arrive. Their number is expected to amount to 100.
“Their assistance consists of strengthening the state border and supporting our police in the refugee welcome center”, declared Minister of Interior, Oliver Spasovski.
Besides patrolling the border area, foreign police will also patrol the border city of Gevgelija, in order to prevent smuggling of refugees and supervise the activity of non government organizations.
But the recent low temperatures have also lead to a drop in the number of refugees. In the recent days, the number of refugees on a daily basis has been 1500 to 3000. The majority of them come from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Only citizens from these countries are allowed to enter the territory, as they are considered refugees from conflict areas, while citizens from African and Asian countries are considered to be economic refugees. This measure was put in place by authorities in Skopje last year, following a great influx.
Experts of security affairs say that these measures and coordination with foreign police strengthen border control and security measures.
Zlatko Keskovski, professor of security issues says that security on the border has grown with the installment of the fence on the border, but also with the presence of foreign police which are coordinating activities with local police.
“These measures avoid illegal entries, but also enable the control of those that enter and are registered as refugees. These measures should have been taken before, since they were put in place by EU member countries”, Keskovski said.
According to experts, these measures are also part of activities in the framework of the fight against terrorism. /ibna/