The head of Austria’s Directorate For Migration has warned that migrants are following a new passage through the Balkan Peninsula referred to as the “mosque route.”
According to Austrian interior minister Peter Webinger, migrants are being assisted in their journey north by a network of mosques in Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are offering them aid and shelter as they make their way towards Croatia and the EU beyond.
Krone reports that videos in Arabic are circulating on the Internet offering detailed instructions on how to follow the mosque route.
While the current flow is still dwarfed by 2015’s movement of hundreds of thousands along the now-closed “Balkan route,” Webinger is concerned that an already trending increase could expand dramatically into 2019, asserting that “there is similarly great potential in crisis regions.”
“Those who want freedom of movement inside the Schengen [zone] must also support stronger protection of external borders,” Webinger said.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has weighed in on the matter, saying, “It is necessary to fight against the emergence of a new migration route.”
Tensions between governments in the area are rising, as a blame game over border security and cooperation in mitigating the influx heats up.
Montenegro has accused Albania of refusing to re-admit rejected migrants, despite bi-lateral agreements to do so, and is now planning to erect a fence at their shared border.
Migrants are accumulating in Bosnia and attempting to force their way into Croatia, where border police recently opened fire on a van packed with 29 illegal aliens as it attempted to ram through a security checkpoint.
Slovenia has just announced it will leave in place a barbed wire fence erected along its Croatian border in 2015 as a further precautionary defense against penetration by migrants.
Serbian MP Sanda Ivic recently warned that the EU is seeking to turn the Balkan Peninsula into a “parking lot for migrants,” using strong-arm tactics against weak nations.
“The EU is no longer ready to accept large masses of migrants, so it needs some kind of filter to stem the flow of refugees; but it can’t use Turkey for this purpose because the latter could start blackmailing Brussels,” Ivic told Sputnik. “Croatia is the EU border territory, located next to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.”
(PHOTO: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)