The Levant News — The war devastated migrants were left stranded by Hungary as they closed their main root. Now the migrants are making a new way via cornfields into European Union by crossing Serbia’s western border.
Croatia said it was urgently sending demining experts to the border area to identify minefields left on the frontier from the Balkan wars of the 1990s, the last time hundreds of thousands of displaced people marched across Europe.
Hungary’s decision to shut the EU’s external border with Serbia this week was the most forceful attempt yet by a European country to close off the unprecedented flow of refugees and economic migrants overwhelming the bloc.
The route through Hungary has been the main one used by migrants who arrive first by dinghy in Greece and then trek across the Balkan peninsula to reach the EU’s frontier-free Schengen zone, most eventually bound for Germany.
With that route closed, thousands of migrants remain in the Balkans seeking other paths north and west, possibly through Croatia and Romania, both of which are in the EU but not in Schengen.
Reuters reporters saw hundreds of people, some of whom identified themselves as Iraqis, trek through fields near the official Sid border crossing between Serbia and Croatia, a fellow former Yugoslav republic which joined the EU in 2013.
They arrived by bus from the southern Serbian town of Presevo, rerouted late on Tuesday to the Croatian border after the Hungarian border shut.
Serbian media reported that at least 10 migrant buses had left Presevo overnight bound for Sid. A Reuters television crew saw three arrive, one a double-decker that offloaded its passengers within a few hundred meters of the border.
Hungary has thrown up a 3.5 meter (10 foot) high fence along the length of its border with Serbia. Engineers and soldiers were marking out a path on Wednesday to extend the fence along the border with Romania, a plan that has angered Bucharest.