Hundreds of Migrants Bused Back to Serbia After 'Seeking Asylum' at Hungary's Border
Migrants from Africa and Middle East refused entry by Hungarian authorities
Hundreds of migrants amassed at the Hungarian border "seeking asylum" this week, but Hungary refused to let them enter the country, forcing Serbian police to bus them back into Serbia.
On Friday, Serbian authorities rounded up the roughly 500 to 700 illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East and sent them back to refugee camps in Serbia.
The large group of migrants has gathered at the Hungarian border on Thursday night, hoping to cross into Hungary - a gateway into the European Union.
The majority of the migrants were Syrian, Afghani, Yemeni, Moroccan, and Palestinian.
The group arrived at the Kelebia-Tomba border crossing on Thursday night where they broke out in protest as they attempted to enter Hungary, according to Balkan Insight.
As the caravan was met with barricades and Hungarian border guards who were determined to stop them as they gathered at the Serbian-Hungarian border.
Serbia’s Defence Minister, Aleksandr Vulin, visited the group hours after they arrived and warned the migrants they had been manipulated and “brought here by false promises that someone would open the border for them.”
Hungary has been cracking down on immigration in recent years and, earlier this week, announced an even tougher stance toward migrants entering the country
Vulin accused NGOs of encouraging the migrants to make their way to the border without any guarantee that they would be able to cross into the European Union.
“It is a shame that some groups mislead the migrants in Serbia with falsified news and rumors that Hungary has opened its borders,” Vulin said.
Shortly after, in the early hours on Friday morning, Serbian authorities gathered up the migrants, placed them onto buses, and transported them back to asylum centers further inside the country.
The incident comes about a week after Hungarian border police managed to push back a group of 71 migrants who managed to break down a weak section of the barrier along the Serbian border.
In January alone, the Hungarian government reported 3,400 illegal entry attempts.
On Tuesday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke during a panel discussion at the National Conservatism conference in Rome where he vowed an end to immigration into Hungary.
During the conference, which was organized by the Edmund Burke Foundation, Orbán cited countries' open border policies during the migrant crisis as one of the catastrophic failings of other liberal European nations.
The Hungarian premier noted stark differences between Hungary’s migration policy compared to policies that Western European countries have embraced.
Immigration issues in Europe's liberal nations began back in 2015 “when they failed to protect their citizens and their countries’ borders,” Orbán said.