KELEBIJA, Serbia (Reuters) - Dozens of migrants, trapped in Serbia, set out in freezing and windy weather on Thursday to walk about ten kilometers to the Hungarian border, demanding free and secure passage toward Western Europe, police said.
The protest in the northern city of Subotica, just outside European Union member state Hungary, came after migrants’ attempt to force their way through a border checkpoint last month.
The Serbian police were seen following the group along the road connecting Subotica and the nearby Horgos border crossing.
“We want to work, we want a better life for our children,” Amira from Syria said.
“I am from Damascus city and they’re shooting bombs. What else can we do?”
Serbia was a focal point for migrants in 2015 and 2016, when hundreds of thousands fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East and Asia traveled up through the Balkans to reach wealthy Western Europe.
Although the Balkan route was closed off in 2016, there are currently over 6,000 migrants from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan in Serbia’s government-operated camps.
Reporting by Fedja Grulovic; Writing by Aleksandar Vasovic and Fedja Grulovic; Editing by Alexandra Hudson