Serbian Commissioner for Refugees and Migrations Vladimir Cucic said on May 18 that during the state of emergency and the period of closed borders due to the COVID-19 epidemic there were 9,100 migrants in Serbia, but that over 1,000 of them had left the country since the state of emergency was lifted.
Cucic told the RTS public service that 7,700 refugees and migrants are currently in reception centers, adding that some 150 were spotted “moving around” i.e. are outside the centers.
The commissioner also said that among them are some 800 migrants who had been returned to Serbia from neighboring countries. He added that the migrants will not be allowed to leave the reception centers all at once, so as “to avoid a rush toward some neighboring countries.”
According to him, since 2015 around 1.5 million migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa had passed through Serbia. None of them had any intention of staying in Serbia, nor are there any plans for their settling in the country, Cucic said.
He added that the presence of army units in Sid, dispatched there a few days ago to secure the migrant centers, “will not endanger anyone’s rights – neither those of the population nor of the migrants.”