Prague/Brno, 19.10.2015 morning – On the serbian-croation border crossing Bapska the situation is getting out of control – buses with thousands people on board are coming and it is not possible for the volunteers to handle the situation anymore. We are calling responsible authorities, humanitarian organizations, doctors and journalists to help us solve the situation.
After the closing of Hungarian borders on Friday midnight the situation on crossings between Croatia and Serbia escalated and on Monday morning became uncontrollable. More than 3000 thousands refugees including small children are now waiting in Bapske, standing in the rain.
Slovenia is accepting only 2500 people per day after Hungary closed it’s borders and Croatian authorities are acting accordingly – only 1 bus per hour is leaving from Bapske with 50 people on board. More and more people are nevertheless coming in buses from Serbian – Macedonian border, 3-4 buses per hour.
There is urgent need for medical help and for more numerous presence of both Serbian and international (UNHCR) authorities. The situation is now handled only by a few dozens of volunteers. There are 50 volunteers on spot, most of them Czech, few Germans and Austrians. The situation is however becoming dangerous for them.
We need police, doctors and organizational support on spot, otherwise we will have to witness a tragedy“, says Zuzana Lenhartová, volunteer coordinator.
The crisis began on Sunday. Small children were stuck in a mass of people, standing in rain and mud, it took hours for the armed police guys to take them out, already wounded. The Serbians should send the refugees elsewhere, now they are sending them from Berkasovo to walk to Bapske, it’s twenty kilometres walk – this could be deadly for some of them,“ says Jakub Jareš, one of the volunteers currently on spot.
„It’s a mass of people, our coordinators are not able to split them into more manageable groups and the weather is definitely not helping“ says Petra Quirke, one of the volunteer coordinators. „ Our volunteers are not able to manage so many people – the risk of tragedy si getting higher each minute“, Quirke explains.
„There was a moment yesterday when we had 30 buses waiting and then all the people at once got off the buses – that means 1500 people in at once. There were already another 1500 people in the camp. It’s absolutely necessary for Croatian and Serbian governement to take control of the situation, and we also need help of other authorities from EU countries“, says Quirke.
One of the refugees, Mohammed from Syria says: „After ten hours long journey, I waited another twelve hours in a bus. There are so many people here, it’s chaos. I don’t know what will happen, but I know we can’t just stay here like that.
Petra Quirke: 605 471 465
Zuzana Lenhartová: 773 252 075
Marie Heřmanová: 603 206 655