UN: End ‘appalling situation’ at Poland-Belarus border
08 January 2022 | 11:59 am
Doctors Without Borders removed its team on the Belarus-Poland border after Warsaw blocked access to migrants trying to enter the European Union. Camped in harsh conditions, several people have died on the EU's doorstep.
While some Belarusians have refused to aid the new arrivals from the Middle East, others are pitching in to help wherever they can. DW's Emma Levashkevich reports from Minsk.
Poland's PM Mateusz Morawiecki slammed Belarus' efforts to use migrants as "weapons" against the bloc ahead of talks with EU leaders. He also accused Belarus of having the "back-room support" of Russian President Putin.
Estonia's recently-elected president is urging caution over the situation at Belarus's borders with the European Union. Thousands of migrants hoping to enter the EU and claim asylum there, mainly from the Middle East, are camped at the borders. Asked by FRANCE 24 how dangerous he judges the tensions to be, Alar Karis said: "I think it's a threat. It's a border of the EU and of a NATO state. We should be very careful and cautious about what's going on Of course the sad thing is that there are innocent people in between that they are using as a shield."
Are those protesting against Covid-19 restrictions just an angry few, or do they represent a much deeper malaise?As the Northern Hemisphere hunkers down for a new winter wave of Covid restrictions, backlash over these curbs is rearing up in Central Europe, the Netherlands and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Some of the pushback is coming from fringe conspiracy theorists or muscle men, but many others have also lost trust in authorities and in what they see as heavy-handed measures and mixed messages. Is the unfiltered "anything goes" rhetoric that wins elections finally coming home to roost?
Humanitarian workers are racing against time to deliver aid as winter looms in Afghanistan, UN officials told DW. The situation on the ground is already desperate and "looks like it's going to get worse."
As temperatures across Europe plummet, thousands of migrants are still stuck in Belarus, hoping to find a route into the European Union — although Brussels insists the bloc will not accept them. DW's Nick Connolly met some of them in Minsk.
The Belarusian strongman has encouraged migrants to continue their journey into the European Union. "We will not try to catch you, beat you, and hold you behind barbed wire," he said.
International travel picked up over the summer, but Covid-19 is still expected to cost the global tourism industry some €1.8 trillion in 2021. Also, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire remains optimistic about the recovery despite concerns over the Omicron variant, and farmers in India continue their protest movement despite concessions from the government.
Can NATO strike the right balance of force and diplomatic fortitude to make the Kremlin back off? Aboard the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, Teri Schultz tees up a key meeting of foreign ministers in Riga.
Many of the migrants currently languishing at the Poland-Belarus border come from Iraq. Most of them hail from the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan in the north of the country. This area is often described as a haven of peace, but the reality is somewhat darker. Our correspondent Lucile Wassermann went to meet the Iraqis ready to risk everything to flee their region.
Citizens of Afghanistan were by far the biggest group of people applying for asylum in the EU, Switzerland and Norway in September 2021.
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 7,216 people have died crossing the U.S–Mexico border between 1998 and 2017. In 2005, more than 500 died across the entire U.S.–Mexico border. The number of yearly border crossing deaths doubled from 1995 to 2005, before declining.
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