English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Poland, Lithuania erect barbed-wire fences to block Afghan refugee flood

Taliban militants inspect spoils collected from Afghan defence forces (Photo: IANS)

The Afghan crisis and conflicts in the Muslim world are opening up fault lines in Europe as more and more migrants seek to enter Europe.

Poland has deployed 900 soldiers on its border with Belarus to keep migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria out of the country. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that it has already erected a 100-km barbed-wire fence along its Belarus border. It will add another 50-km soon.

Poland says that over 2,000 migrants have crossed over from Belarus in just one month while guards were able to prevent another 1,342 from entering. The country also has begun to detain other migrants. There also are people who are trapped on the no-man's land between Poland and Belarus.

For almost similar reasons, Lithuania too is building a 550-km barbed wire fence after making allegations that thousands of migrants illegally crossed over from Belarus this year. Vilnius says that only 74 migrants had entered its land in all of last year.

The nearly 4,100 migrants in Lithuania are currently being kept in temporary shelters. It has even alleged that Belarus officials entered Lithuanian territory to help migrants cross over.

The Lithuanian border force reportedly had scuffles with migrants as they tried to enter from Belarus.

It is not just Poland and Lithuania who allege that Belarus is using migrants as a weapon. Even Estonia and Latvia have said that Belarus, reportedly the only country in Europe to be governed by an authoritarian government, is pushing migrants into their lands.

Noticing a crisis at hand, the European Union (EU) held emergency talks this Wednesday over allegations against Belarus. The EU ministers have condemned Belarus for efforts at destabilising the European Union.

European nations say that Belarus began pushing migrants illegally after the EU levied sanctions on the country for its authoritarian behaviour.

With the American pull-out from Afghanistan and the takeover of the conflict-torn country by hardline Taliban militants, Europe fears a second wave of refugees as desperate Afghans try to flee the country. 

Read More: EU asylum policy goes for a toss, Germany rethinks refugee rehabilitation after Afghan developments