Poland Fears Armed Border Escalation Over Belarus Migration

Watch: Video shows hundreds of migrants at Belarus' border with Poland

Watch: Video shows hundreds of migrants at Belarus’ border with Poland

Poland has cautioned of a likely “armed” rapid increase on its border with Belarus, fearing that its neighbor may try to arouse an incident with hundreds of migrants moving to cross into the EU.

With extra troops stationed after craving crowds moved to cut a barbed-wire border fence.

Poland, the European Union and Nato alleged Belarus is organizing the problem, an assertion denied by its disputed leader.

Poland declares it is shutting a major border crossing at Kuznica.

EU and Nato members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have all witnessed a surge in the number of people attempting to enter their countries unlawfully from Belarus in recent months. Many of them have come from the Middle East and Asia.

Piotr Muller, Government spokesman said up to 4,000 migrants had assembled near Poland’s eastern border and revealed to reporters that at some point they anticipated

“an escalation… which will be of an armed nature”.

Local TV stated that many of the migrants converging near Kuznica were accompanied by armed individuals with dogs.

Stanislaw Zaryn, the head of Poland’s national security department, disclosed the immigrants were under the control of Belarusian armed units.

“Belarus wants to cause a major incident, preferably with shots fired and casualties,”

deputy foreign minister Piotr Wawrzyk earlier stated.

Activists say the immigrants – many of them young men yet also women and children – are being used as pawns in a political game between Belarus and its neighbors. And Overnight temperatures at the border have flopped below zero and many immigrants have already died.

READ MORE: How Belarus is helping ‘tourists’ break into the EU
The EU alleges Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko is provoking the influx in retaliation against the bloc’s sanctions.

It forced the plan of action after Mr Lukashenko’s strong official action on mass protests sequel to last year’s widely dis reputed presidential election, and the apprehension of a dissenter journalist on board a Ryanair flight that was forced to land in Minsk.

Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President said the EU would look at spreading out sanctions to include “third-country airlines” involved in flying immigrants to Belarus.

Mr Lukashenko has cautioned repeatedly his government will no longer stop the crowds, blaming border guards in the neighboring EU nations for being violent towards immigrants.

Germany on Tuesday persistently persuaded the EU to “take action” to help Poland secure its borders, At the same time the Nato military alliance declared the Belarusian authorities were using immigrants as political pawns.

Image caption,
Many migrants have been trapped on the border between Poland and Belarus

Lithuania has equally moved troops to its border with Belarus to get ready for a likely inrush of immigrants.
For now, the US urged Mr Lukashenko to

“immediately halt [his] campaign of orchestrating and coercing”

the unlawful flow of immigrants.

Poland, which has been condemned for pushing back migrants and refugees at its border, has reacted to the influx of people in recent times by building a razor-wire fence.

As they are instantly thrown out from Poland and Belarus refuses to allow them back in, people are finding themselves stranded and freezing in Poland’s forests. Many have died of dangerously low body temperature

Image caption,
Polish troops and border guards with shields stopped migrants from crossing into the country

The BBC’s Paul Adams spoke to Barwa Nusreddine Ahmed, the brother of one Iraqi immigrant who was at the border with his wife and three children. They arrived in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, last month.

Mr Ahmed said, With little to eat or drink, the people stuck at the border were extremely distressed,

He also disclosed that Monday’s move to the border post was planned on social media by the immigrants themselves, yet suggested Belarus was pushing them.

“People know they’re being used [by Mr Lukashenko], but they have no future,” Mr Ahmed declared.

Anxieties escalated on Monday when videos posted on social media revealed a column of people, in combination with women and children, walking towards the Polish border in Belarus.

Other videos revealed large numbers of immigrants being escorted by armed men dressed in khaki..

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In other footage shared on social media, crowds of immigrants can be seen trying to breach a razor wire fence at the border, but being stopped from passing through by Polish border guards.

The Belarusian border guard agency told state media earlier that more than 2,000 “refugees” had gathered in front of Polish barriers. They were heading for the EU

“where they want to apply for protection”, the agency disclosed.

More on this story

Hundreds of migrants at Belarus’ border with Poland

Freezing to death on the edge of the EU

Poland to build border wall to stop migrant influx

How Belarus is helping ‘tourists’ break into the EU

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