Poland to construct wall on Belarus border to stop migration from Afghanistan, Middle East


East Europe (Photo: Google Maps)

Poland plans to build a border wall on its border with Belarus at a cost of around $400 million to prevent migrants from Afghanistan and other Middle East countries from entering illegally.

The East European country is witnessing an increasing number of Afghans, along with people of other nationalities, trying to cross over from Belarus--its eastern neighbour. Human rights organisation Amnesty International has alleged that Poland has been pushing Afghan refugees back into Belarus.

Many Afghan families are now caught between the Poland-Belarus border. They have been trying to flee their country after the Taliban militants overthrew the elected government and took over the capital - Kabul. Many are escaping their country fearing reprisals from Taliban militants who are hunting for people who had worked with the previous government or in the security forces.

The Polish government has cleared a draft bill to construct the border wall. Now it will be presented before the parliament to be debated by the MPs.

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In reality, Poland had started constructing the wall in August itself and had also increased the number of guards on the Belarus border. With the additional budget, it plans to install cameras and movement detectors which can detect people within 200 metres of the wall.

Euronews quoted the Polish government as saying: "The number of attempts to cross the border is on the rise". Its forces have prevented thousands of people from conflict-prone regions from crossing the Belarus border into Poland.

Poland and Belarus have seen tensions rise after the latter allegedly opened up its border to allow migrants to enter Poland, for whom the European Union (EU) is the final destination.

The EU has supported Poland in the migrants' issue. Fearing an influx from Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in August, EU ministers began holding discussions to manage migrants from flooding into Europe.

Many European countries have piled up pressure on the EU to ensure that the continent does not see a second wave of refugees similar to what happened in 2015--now called the first wave--when millions of people from Syria and Iraq flooded into Turkey and Europe.

Many are calling upon the EU to finance the construction of walls and installation of barbed wires, says the EU Observer.

For the past couple of months, the EU has accused Minsk of deliberately orchestrating the influx of migrants to spite the EU for imposing sanctions. Belarus is known as the only country in Europe to be governed by an authoritarian government.

Poland's neighbours--Germany, Lithuania and Latvia--too have reported an influx of migrants into their lands. Like Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have accused Belarus of pushing migrants into their territories.

Poland has declared a state of emergency in its border areas. Its forces have held back hundreds of migrants in the no-man's zone on the Belarus border. It is also putting the captured migrants in detention centres.

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