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2021.09.15 15:26

Migrants in Lithuania to be moved out of tent camps by October

BNS2021.09.15 15:26

All irregular migrants in Lithuania will be moved out of tent camps by October 1, Vidas Mačaitis, deputy commander of the State Border Guard Service (VSAT), said on Wednesday.

"By October 1, and maybe even earlier, there will be no more people living in tents," he told the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence.

Irregular migrants are also to be moved from temporary accommodation provided by the municipalities, the official said.

The authorities will start moving people from Rūdninkai and other camps to the Kybartai correctional facility once all the inmates are moved out, which is expected to be done by Friday, according to Mačaitis.

Read more: Migrants from tent camp to be moved to disused prison in west Lithuania

"Yesterday, many vulnerable persons were taken to the Rukla [refugee] reception center. The dormitories of the [border guard] school in Medininkai are fully occupied, and the modular housing camp set up in Medininkai is practically occupied, with over 700 people housed there," the deputy commander said.

"Extra accommodation will be set up at the Foreigners' Registration Centre [in Pabradė] for around 400 people and we will move [migrants] from tents there," he added.

Migrants are provided with hot food and clothes in most centres, according to the official.

Mačaitis said six foreign nationals, including the five Afghans who had appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), had been allowed to enter Lithuania since the start of September.

Read more: Five Afghan migrants request asylum in Lithuania

"Lately, we have had many people claiming to be Afghan citizens to take advantage of the political situation," the official said.

Officials have also been recording cases of secondary migration – 42 people were caught transporting 150 irregular migrants from accommodation places in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland between July and September.

According to Mačaitis, Lithuania has opened pre-trial investigations into three recorded cases of Belarusian border guards illegally entering its territory in August and September. Belarus' officers have denied any violations of the state border.

Over 4,100 migrants, mostly Iraqi nationals, have crossed irregularly into Lithuania from Belarus so far this year. Vilnius accuses the Minsk regime of orchestrating the unprecedented migration influx, calling it "hybrid aggression".

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