Police in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Saturday fired tear gas and stun grenades at migrants and refugees stranded for days on its southern border with Greece, as they try to make their way to western Europe.
Tensions reached boiling point as Macedonian security forces began erecting a metal fence along the frontier.
As Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War Two continues, the Macedonian government says it won’t seal off access to refugees fleeing war.
A government spokesman said the aim of the fence was “to direct the inflow of people towards the controlled points for their registration and humane treatment.”
“We would like to underline that the border will remain open,” said spokesman Aleksandar Gjorgjiev.
“We will allow passage for the people who come from war-affected regions as we have done thus far.”
But along with other countries, Macedonian authorities are now turning back other migrants, leading to a chaotic build-up at the Macedonian-Greek border at the start of the so-called Balkans route.
Human rights groups have criticised the decision, under which only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans are allowed through.
The UN refugee agency has also highlighted what it says are risks stemming from the new restrictions.Read the rest of the story HERE and view a related video below:
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