Greece begins evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp

    Greece begins evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp

    May 24, Athens: Greek authorities began evacuation of thousands of stranded migrants from the makeshift Idomeni camp, the country’s largest informal refugee camp, on its northern border with Macedonia.

    The government's spokesman for the refugee crisis, Giorgos Kyritsis, said that police would not use force, and that the operation was expected to last about a week to 10 days. They will block the access to the area and sending in more than 400 riot police.

    The operation began at dawn and witnesses reported police vehicles and buses standing by to transfer people to better organised facilities.

    The camp sprang up in February after border closures in Macedonia left more than 8,000 people stranded there. They are mostly from conflict zones in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have refused to move despite having to sleep in tents in very difficult conditions.

    Police prevented journalists entering the camp on Tuesday morning but buses carrying police units were seen going in while a police helicopter monitored the operation, reports said.

    On Monday, government spokesman Giorgos Kyritsis told Greek television that all migrants would be moved and that the operation would take about a week.

    The Oslo Times


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