Hundreds of refugees are camping out in Belarus after Polish security forces blocked people attempting to cross the border, Al Jazeera reports. On Monday, the situation deteriorated due to almost freezing temperature near Kuznica village. Some migrants even tried to breach a barbed wire fence using spades.
Human right organizations urges the authorities of both Poland and Belarus to reach an agreement and to save the lives of hundreds of refugees. Meantime, officials in Warsaw warning of a possible “armed” escalation in the coming days.
For months, Warsaw accused Minsk of trying to spark a major confrontation by encouraging refugees from the Middle East and North Africa to cross into Central Europe on their way to the wealthier Scandinavian countries.
To keep control in the border area, Poland’s government deployed additional soldiers, border guards and police in response, preventing refugees and migrants forcing their way across the frontier. As of Tuesday, Poland’s Border Guard said that about 800 people camped out in Kuznica, while an estimated 4,000 migrants and refugees are there and in nearby forests.
The border situation is alarming because the conditions in the forests between the two countries are very harsh. As the human rights activist say, it’s an environment where there is very little access to food and water and no access to warm shelter. While Minsk provides people assistance, the activists insist that Poland is also obliged to provide the refugees with a possible distant help, taking into account the harsh weather conditions.