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Photo by Robert Atanasovski/APF.

Activist Mersiha Smailovic posted this overview of the refugee situation in the Facebook group “Help the Refugees in Macedonia.” It presents the basic logistics information and the state of the affairs.

The refugees in Macedonia enter in only one border crossing, from Eidomeni- Greece in Gevgelija, stone 59 [border marker]. While entering Macedonia, each refugee must possess documents for registration from Greece, or any other document by which will be confirmed their nationality. The entrance in Macedonia is allowed only to the refugees who come from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and have a document which they can prove that.

From the border crossing to the camp there are about 600 meters. The refugees wait in groups to enter in the camp. The waiting time is from one to 3 hours, maximum. The refugees in the camp wait for their registration, which lasts maximum one hour, but during that time the organizations in the camp provide them with complete aid services. Each refugee is provided free food, free medical aid, separated tents for mothers and children with heating and educational materials, winter clothes and shoes. All this aid is free.

Refugees stay in the camp until the train comes or other transport. The price for the train ticket is € 25, while for children aged up to 10 years old the transport is free. Another transport that can be used, if the police allows, is buss or licensed taxi drivers (yellow cars). The buss ticket is € 20, and for taxi is € 25 per person (4 person max) or € 100 to Tabanovce.

The drive to the Macedonia- Serbia border lasts three or four hours. The camp is in the place called Tabanovce. At the camp the refugees have the same aid like in Gevgelija, which is free .

At the exit of the camp, there is police which asks for documents by which the refugees again will confirm their nationality. Only the refugees from the countries above will be let to walk towards the first camp in Serbia – Miratovac ( 1,5 km). If they are refugees from other countries, they will be returned at the camp, where they will have to seek asylum to the competent police authorities, or they will be returned in Greece. Every refugee can get free legal advice by calling the phone number 0800-17-777, 24 hours per day (MYLA).

Those determined that had illegally entered Macedonia, will be deported back to the country from where they had entered.

The refugees who used services of smugglers and had been arrested by the police during anti-trafficking operation, will be taken to the reception center for foreigners (detention) – Gazi Baba as a witness against the smuggler.

And if the refugee that enter in Macedonia illegally decides to walk by foot, then he is in danger of being attacked by criminals who rob refugees. The weather in Macedonia is too cold, the refugees should be prepared for winter weather conditions. And let them have patience while they are waiting in camp!

Refugees are welcomed in Macedonia !