Migrant reception center in Sid to close

Berkasovo, 20. oktobra 2015 - Migranti sa Bliskog istoka u privremenom smestaju u blizini srpsko-hrvatske granice kod Berkasova. Na granici izmedju Srbije i Hrvatske vise stotina izbeglica sa Bliskog istoka ceka da udje u Hrvatsku, posto je prelaz Berkasovo-Bapska, kod Sida, hrvatska granicna policija zatvorila u 11 sati. FOTO TANJUG / MARKO DJOKOVIC / tj

The Municipal Security Council in the northwestern municipality of Sid, near the border with Croatia, had decided to shut down a local migrant reception center.

The facility in question is located near the Serbian town’s railway station, Beta is reporting on Tuesday, citing Belgrade-based daily Blic.

“We’ve received support from appropriate institutions for our initiative to shut down the reception center located in the town itself. We expect a phased eviction of migrants and their families to begin this weekend,” Mayor Predrag Vukovic said, adding:

“We’ve been good hosts this whole time, I thank the Sid residents for the patience and trust towards the municipal authorities in solving this problem.”

According to Vukovic, “each migrant received the state’s full protection” – but the migrants themselves “on numerous occasions” failed to act as good guests.

Labor, Social and Veteran Affairs Ministry State Secretary Nenad Ivanisevic, who sat in on the meeting today, said the safety of Serbia’s citizens came first, and “apologized to Sid’s residents if they experienced any inconvenience because of the migrants.”

Two weeks ago, the Interior Ministry’s organized crime service, UBPOK, transferred about a hundred migrants – mostly Afghans and Pakistanis who had misdemeanor and criminal complaints filed against them – to another reception center in Serbia, that in Presevo, in the south.

Currently, about 400 people are at the Sid reception center – 300 with families, and about 100 others migrating alone.

In early April, the residents of Sid protested after a migrant armed with an ax allegedly stormed a house – with two underage girls home alone at the time – and stole a cell phone.

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