A large group of migrants set off from central Belgrade on Tuesday morning, headed for the Hungarian border, news agency Reuters reported.
The few hundreds were holding handwritten banners and chanting demands for open borders. Many migrants in Belgrade, most of whom bed down in makeshift camps by the city’s central rail station, had mistakenly thought Hungary’s referendum last weekend on migrant quotas meant the border would be opened.
The crowd walked north along the city’s Sava river, stopping occasionally to negotiate with police. All of them appeared to be men and boys about 15 or older. “We are people, not animals,” read one banner. “We will walk to border with Hungary,” Sadaqat Khan, a Pakistani migrant, told Reuters. Most of the migrants seek sanctuary in the wealthy countries of Northern Europe. “We do not want Serbia,” Khan said.
Some 7,000 migrants, most fleeing war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, are trapped in Serbia, prevented from continuing further into Europe by fences now running the length of the Hungarian-Serbian border. A large group of refugees who left Belgrade’s camps earlier this year got as far as the northern city of Novi Sad, but from there they were taken to reception centers on the Serbian side of the border.
via reuters.com photo: hirado.hu