- Since July 2021, migrants (mostly from Iraqi Kurdistan) are trying to enter into the EU countries Poland, Latvia & Lithuania from a non-EU country Belarus. Belarus shares a border with these 3 EU countries.
What caused Belarus-EU migrant crisis:
- European Union imposed economic sanctions on Belarus for election fraud, oppression of protests, and the forced landing of Ryanair Flight 4978. This lead to the deterioration of EU-Belarus relations.
- As a response, Belarus threatened to flood EU countries with drug smugglers, human traffickers and armed migrants.
- Belarusian officials together with some tourist companies of the middle east started promoting tours to Belarus by giving them hope that they can enter into EU countries through Belarus.
The present situation:
- The migrants reached the Belarus border and are trying to enter Poland, Latvia & Lithuania, which share a border with Belarus. Some migrants said that Belarusian officials gave them wire cutters and axes to cut the fences at the border.
- All three countries increased the number of military personnel at borders. Poland created a two-mile deep buffer zone to prevent unauthorized border crossings. To prevent migrants from entering their land, Poland used water cannons and tear gas. Poland is going to build a 5.5-meter high wall in December along the border with Belarus to stop the migrant influx.
- The clashes between migrants and border guards resulted in at least 9 deaths of migrants. This attracted severe criticism for human rights violations.
- Poland accused Belarus of waging hybrid war using humans as tools for political purposes. It stated that Belarus wants the EU to lift sanctions.
- Now, US, UK and Canada announced new sanctions on Belarus. Moreover, the EU too announced new sanctions on Belarus for causing migrant crisis and human rights violations.
- Thousands of migrants are left at the border in the freezing cold with little food and water.
EU-Belarus migrant crisis is causing human rights violations. The main victims are migrants who are trapped at the border and the countries on both sides are not caring about their lives.
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