January 17, 2018
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia: Police in Slovenia Wednesday found 20 migrants from Pakistan in a van that crashed after entering the country illegally from Croatia on a quest to reach Western Europe, while a U.N. humanitarian envoy visited migrants who also want to move on but are stuck in Serbia.
A police patrol chased the van, which then swerved off the road due to the speed it was going, according to police. Several people have been hospitalized, one with serious injuries.
The van had Austrian license plates and a Ukrainian driver who tried to escape by a crossing a river but stopped after a police warning, police added.
The incident illustrates dangers migrants face as they try to cross borders illegally in an attempt to reach wealthy European nations.
Also Wednesday, the U.N. Secretary General’s Humanitarian Envoy Ahmad al-Meraikhi visited a center for asylum seekers and migrants in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Several thousand people have been stuck in Serbia waiting for a chance to move on.
Meraikhi praised the Balkan country’s efforts in hosting the refugees and other migrants, who got stranded following the closure of borders in the region to migrants in March 2016.
“I was very impressed what I have seen today and I think we have to share this experience from Serbia,” Meraikhi said.
Migrants attempting to reach neighboring EU states Hungary or Croatia often are pushed back by police in those countries. Hungary has put up a razor-wire fence to stop the migrant influx.