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2021.09.24 14:08

Last migrants moved out of tent camp in Lithuania's Rūdninkai

BNS, LRT.lt2021.09.24 14:08

On Friday, the last people were moved out of a temporary migrant camp set up in the Rūdninkai military training area, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry wants to transfer all migrants from temporary accommodation to proper housing by October 1.

Over 700 people have been moved from Rūdninkai, in the southeastern district of Šalčininkai, to a former correctional facility in Kybartai, in the southwestern district of Vilkaviškis.

Rūdninkai will remain a reserve site for setting up a modular housing camp in case of a sudden increase in the number of migrants, the ministry said in a press release.

The migrant accommodation plan calls for establishing several centralised migrant accommodation centres adapted to different needs.

There are still 446 migrants in border stations, but none of them live in tents, the ministry said.

The most vulnerable groups of migrants, such as families with young children, pregnant women and people with disabilities, are being housed in a modular housing camp in Rukla and a hostel to be opened in Naujininkai, a district of Vilnius, next week.

Almost 4,200 migrants, mostly Iraqi citizens, have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus this year.

Vilnius has accused the Minsk government of orchestrating migrant smuggling, calling it “hybrid aggression”.

Attempts to flee via an underground tunnel

Renaldas Žekonis, the administrator of the Rūdninkai camp, told reporters on Friday that the camp had housed 740 single men, living in 64 tents in groups of 10 to 16 people.

He said there were no serious incidents during the relocation, although some men tried to hide in emptied tents.

Earlier this week, there was a report about a group of migrants who tried to flee the camp via a 10-metre underground tunnel. “The attempt was stopped,” Žekonis said, adding that the men who tried to flee would not be sanctioned.

Earlier, media reported that there had been cases of rape and physical violence in the camp. Žekonis dismissed the allegations.

“I can confirm none of it, because all complaints we received were logged. We'd call the police about every complaint we received – and there were only two: one over theft and one over health impairment. In both cases, the police opened investigations,” Žekonis said.

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