The sudden flood of immigrants from the Middle East to Belarus of to the Middle East that is now the subject of a major conflict in Europe is not an incident.
The Belarusian government Belarus has relaxed the rules on visas during August Iraqi travelers reported they would make a trip to Belarus a appealing trip to Europe as opposed to the risky crossing of the sea between Turkey towards Greece.
It expanded the flights of the state-owned airline. It also actively assisted in bringing immigrants from the capital city of Minsk to the border to Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
and Belarusian security forces provided them with instructions on how to get into European Union countries, even providing cutters for wire and tools that could be used to break through fences that border.
These actions made by the government, which European leaders have described as a sly ploy to “weaponise” immigrants in order to take away the burden of Europe opening the door for those who want to leave an area that is plagued by unemployment and instability.
In the present, hundreds of people are stuck or huddled along the border in frigid temperatures they are not wanted by EU countries, or as the circumstances have made clear, of the state that enticed them to the border initially.
The human tide has transformed cities such as Sulaimaniyah located situated in the Kurdistan region of Iraq into bustling ports of entry for those who want to embark on a costly and risky trip for the chance to live better living in Europe.
When word spread on social media sites that Belarus could be a gateway to Europe the numbers of immigrants grew.
Mala Rawaz, a travel agent in Sulaimaniyah He said he’d sold about 100 packages per week to excursions to Belarus. The packages include airfare to an unidentified third country, as well as accommodation for transit, as well as an Belarusian visa.
At the city’s bazaar Bryar Muhammad, who was 25 was a booming businessperson on Thursday, selling warm clothes.
“Good outfits to wear for Belarus!” he shouted while holding large acrylic jackets and sweaters that he pulled out of the cardboard box. “For the snow in Belarus!”
As children from Iraq were setting up their houses as collateral in order to raise funds for their journey there was evidence that Belarus the autocratic president, Alexander Lukashenko, was orchestrating the migration to create an unintended crises for the EU.
There was a report that Belarusian government-owned carrier, Belavia has increased its flights to into the Middle East to Minsk, European officials told. Belarusian authorities have eased the issue of visas via an agency owned by the government, Tsentrkurort as per Tsentrkurort, which is owned by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
The migrants who made it to Minsk were sheltered within at least 3 hotels run by the government According to Latvia’s defence Minister, Artis Pabriks. He also mentioned Franak Viacorka, who is a top advisor to the Belarusian political leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
Pabriks claimed that Belarusian intelligence officers were involved in transporting immigrants to the border and that military vehicles were utilized.
A number of Iraqi migrants claimed the Belarusian security forces supplied them with the tools needed to break across border fences. Polish frontier fence.
Bayar Awat, an Iraqi Kurd who was stranded at the Belarusian side of the Polish border, claimed that Belarusian guards had assisted his group to cross the border by showing an alternative route to bypass the official border crossing , and was located near a crack in the fence.
“The Belarus police guided us to the forest, and later provided directions for us to go into the forest, keeping us from the border crossing,” he said.
On Thursday on Thursday, the Belarusian soldier was heard on the phone, requesting the Iraqi Kurd to direct a group of between 400 and 500 migrants from the Lithuanian border to their destination at Polish border.
“All those who migrate from here travel towards Brest,” the soldier stated in broken English and referring to Brest, Belarusian city located on the Polish border. This was because there was a plethora of migrants crossing the Lithuanian border.
If some of the migrants tried to leave the cold forest in order to return to Minsk however, they have been stopped to the border by Belarusian security guards. This has left refugees stranded on the border, according to them.
European officials claim that the measures are part of the Lukashenko’s plan to punish EU officials for retaliating against EU by imposing sanctions on him after Lukashenko claimed victory in a controversial 2020 election.
“Lukashenko’s policy, his rhetoric, visa policy, and the frenzied increase in migrants this summer all suggest involvement by the Belarusian government and travel agents,” said Gustav Gressel an Berlin-based senior political researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
In efforts to end the situation several airlines took measures to reduce the number of travelers traveling into Belarus through within the Middle East. The travel agents of Iraq reported the following: Turkey and Iran began cancelling flights for flights to Minsk to Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni passengers on Thursday. The government had barred the travel agencies from offering transport tickets into Belarus earlier in the week.
It was not important to the desperate Iraqis who were searching for alternate routes through Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“I have been told that the situation is not great in Belarus However, I need to leave because there’s no way to live here and no employment opportunities and no human rights, inequity and injustice there is no joy,” said Amer Karwan Carpenter Amer Karwan who went with his three buddies to a travel agent located in Sulaimaniyah the previous Thursday in order to purchase tickets that they were hoping would bring them into Belarus.
Karwan 20, who turned 20 on Thursday, borrowed $3,500 from a family member to travel. The group was not discouraged by the warning from the travel agent that tickets for Iran and Turkey were not refundable and there was no guarantee that they could get to Belarus.
The most significant source of migrants is in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq is regarded as the safest and most stable area of the country.
Like the majority of their parents, who became refugees during the Saddam Hussein era however, this time around this time Iraqi Kurds are not fleeing conflict or genocide. They’re looking for a new future that the country’s relatively peace hasn’t offered them with.
Despite the outward success of Iraqi Kurdistan youngsters are especially depressed over the dearth of employment and also over brutality, repression, as well as tribal disputes that frequently outweigh laws.
They are borrowing money and borrowing money from relatives to pay for the trip.
The economic crisis has pushed up the cost of visas to Belarus which previously be around $90 but is now around $1,200. Many migrants claimed to be paying $3,000 for a package that included visas, flights and the cost of a few days’ lodging.
Many migrants also deposit thousands of dollars of money in deposits at currency exchange shops to be sent to smugglers who guarantee to bring them across the border. Many said that the fee for smuggling was approximately $3000. However, often, they say, the smugglers do little more than tell the direction in which to walk through the forest.
This is not even mentioning of the emotional cost that a person who is a refugee must bear when having to leave their family and home behind.
On Friday Karwan wearing a new olive-green winter coat and gloves took off from home to take an Uber from the city of Irbil which is about only four hours away.
After he was taken away leaving Sulaimaniyah Karwan’s mother as well as two sisters sat at the gate crying. His father shoved Iraqi dinars into his palm and stood there until the taxi’s doors was shut before wiping the tears away.
“I am feeling awful,” said his mother, Bayan Omar. “He is my sole son. If I stopped his departure, then what should the boy do? He says, “Can you promise me a home or a car, an existence, and the opportunity to marry and have a child?’ I can’t prevent him from leaving.”
The next day, Karwan’s flights to Tehran, Iran, and Istanbul were all cancelled. Karwan was for his flight in Irbil in order to get rebooked by Dubai.
If you’ve already been to Belarus The situation for those who have already made it to Belarus is dire. On the border with Lithuania thousands of people were forced to stand up against fences made of razor wire, and prevented from going ahead or turning back.
Families with young children and those with young children who had trekked for days through the thick forest were camped around camp-like structures, burning wood to stay warm, according to the footage posted by travelers. A few had tents with small pop-ups and others were buried inside sleeping bags and slept on cold ground.
This past Saturday Polish officials have accused Belarusian soldiers of demolishing a portion of the border fence in Czeremcha. Czeremcha and of attempting to frighten Polish border guards by using lights and lasers lighting so that migrants could cross to the EU. The Polish report of the incident, however, was not verified because authorities in Warsaw has prohibited all non-residents including doctors and journalists from entering the border region.
Nine migrants have been killed in Poland in the last two weeks, the majority of them from exposure as per Polish officials. Belarus hasn’t revealed how many people have been killed on its own border with Belarus. Polish news outlets reported on Thursday that 14-year-old Iraqi boy was died of a frozen death near the border with Belarus.
“We have water and food but there isn’t enoughof it,” told one Iraqi Kurd who wanted to be identified by his name, Bahadino.
He shared videos that showed pregnant women and children, including some disabled. He also shared an image of him along with a small group of immigrants respectfully holding a message that reads “Poland – Sorry.”
“Today we expressed our regrets to European Union and to Poland,” he said. “You know, we were at the border and smashed the fence along the border. We apologize for the breach.”
However, he was unapologetic in his quest to gain entry into Europe. He also said that he did not have plans to go back to Iraq.