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While searching for refugees, I found heartache in Croatia

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While searching for refugees, I found heartache in Croatia

Zagreb and Harmica, CROATIA — Roughly 20 years ago, Mario Mazar arrived in Zagreb as a refugee fleeing Vukovar right through the Balkan Warfare. That’s why he is aware of the recent refugee difficulty in Europe is neither a ecu nor a Croatian drawback.

“It’s an international drawback,” he says as he drives his cab throughout the streets of Zagreb, including there’s nothing the Croatian Government alone can do to forestall the situation. “We may give them water and food. We must do that. But how will that modify their future?”

In the last few days, the refugees arriving in Croatia after they noticed their direction into Hungary blocked by way of a razor wire fence, had been welcomed Within The Resort Porin and the Velesajam constructing in Zagreb Where Purple Cross volunteers, medical doctors and nurses worked around-the-clock to give a boost to them, handing out cookies, bottles of water and sugary juices.

After I arrived there, on Friday night time, both buildings have been surrounded with the aid of the police. I wasn’t allowed to enter the Hotel However was advised by way of the authorities there wasn’t a single refugee there.

“Where are they?” Mazar requested, intrigued. The police mentioned that they had no thought. Within Velesajam, excluding the Crimson Move volunteers — mostly faculty students training to work as doctors, journalists or international members of the family experts — only a dozen refugees remained.

In The heart of the room, women caressed their children, males tried to get some sleep. Soiled mattresses coated all the house. The is still of destroyed cardboard shipping bins, once filled with donated food, piled up to the ceiling.

“They had been late,” said probably the most volunteers, who refused to give his name. Any Other explained: “Every two hours there have been three buses right here able to take them to Slovenia and Hungary. Those Who weren’t here as a result of they have been walking across the metropolis ignored them.”

On Friday, Croatian authorities announced that for the remaining three days about 17,000 migrants have entered the u . s . a . and Croatia was once struggling with the influx. The legit resolution used to be to maneuver them in buses toward Slovenia and Hungary.

“The Prime minister stated they might be welcome here. However they’d a Plan B all along. There will likely be an election next month. So, the refugees are long gone,” says Mazar, who grew Within The story and wouldn’t relaxation unless he found out The Place the refugees have been taken.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic stated Friday that Croatians “have hearts, but additionally have heads,” when describing the u . s . a .’s response to the wave of migrants crossing the border.

APTOPIX Croatia Slovenia Migrants

A boy with a flower sits on the shoulders of a man as a bunch of refugees and supporters face Slovenian police blocking the doorway to Slovenia on the border crossing In The Croatian village of Harmica, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.

Image: Markus Schreiber/Related Press

One Of The Vital refugees that left Zagreb Friday ended up on a slim street between the Croatian town of Harmica and the Serbian town of Rigonce. Others moved to Hungary, whose Government said that greater than Four,400 people had crossed from Croatia on the same day. The Slovenian rise up police in Rigonce pepper sprayed the refugees to stop them from reaching their usa.

A dozen of those dealers remained on the border by the time I obtained there, totally equipped with helmets, batons and shields. Adjoining to them, looking like they’ve been standing for hours, a gaggle of demonstrators held a huge sign asking police to let the refugees go. One Slovenian girl who refused to provide her name drove to the border to protest as quickly as she heard what was going down at the border.

“We need to strengthen those who are trying to Go the border. It doesn’t subject The Place they have been born,” she instructed me. She used to be exhausted and had some bother conversing. “I don’t understand what I’m doing here anymore,” she laughed. “These robocops,” she mentioned, turning her indignant face on the police, “they teargassed them. They even used it on the youngsters who have been standing here.”

Croatia Slovenia Migrants

A Lady sleeps on a mattress alongside Other refugees ready to Move the border to Slovenia on the Croatian village of Harmica, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.

Image: Markus Schreibe/Related Press

Later Within The night, the small street used to be transformed into an open-air refugee camp. Some households slept in tents. Most tried to sleep on the asphalt, twisting and turning, their eyes closed. The chilly evening and the poppy orange lights from the border patrol made resting an effort.

Women And Men tried to cover their faces with blankets or plastic luggage. They squeezed round their children, their toys and small sneakers scattered in every single place the road, deserted. It gave the look of a human jigsaw puzzle.

“I Will’t take a look at them,” mentioned Mazar as he scanned the scene, reminiscing. “Seeing youngsters like that is in point of fact onerous for me.”

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