BELGRADE – Croatia has sent 217 refugees back to Serbia, and they are temporarily accommodated at the reception center in Sid, Mirjana Milenkovski from the UNHCR Office said on Wednesday.

Illustration -  AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
Illustration – AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

Milenkovski told Tanjug that refugees, mostly Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians, had been returned by train.

The refugees had first been sent back to Croatia from Slovenia, she said.

Milenkovski noted that the refugees in Sid had been given humanitarian assistance, and informed about the asylum procedures in Serbia.

“We are trying to find out why they have been returned from Croatia to Serbia,” Milenkovski said.

Migrants who were sent back from Croatia can either seek asylum in Serbia or be returned to the country from which they entered our territory, and if they don’t accept that, they will be treated as illegal migrants, Serbian Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy Aleksandar Vulin said Wednesday.

During a visit to the Vera Blagojevic center for children and youth in Banja Koviljaca, western Serbia, Vulin told reporters that any possibility of further sending of migrants back to Serbia from Croatia would not be allowed, as the country had accepted responsibility for everyone who had entered its territory.

Vulin added that around 200 migrants entered Serbia from Croatia late on Tuesday.

They have been acomodated in the one stop center in Sid, are being talked to and offered options.