Analysis of W. Balkans: Number of Syrians quadrupled in Q2


The number of Syrians detected at the borders in the Western Balkans region nearly quadrupled to 20 000 in the second quarter compared to the previous three months. Syrians ranked just ahead of Afghans, whose number nearly tripled to 18 850.

The record number of Syrians and Afghans detected at the Western Balkan borders is closely linked to the massive inflow of migrants arriving on the Greek islands from Turkey. The high pressure on the Aegean Islands is later echoed on the Western Balkan route with a certain time lag, which corresponds to the time migrants need to organise their onwards movements.

In the April-June period, the number of detections involving African migrants more than tripled compared to the previous quarter, reaching 4 000. All regions of Africa contributed to this overall increase, with Congolese, Somalis, Cameroonians and Nigerians being the top reported nationalities.

Meanwhile, the number of detections of citizens of Western Balkan countries dropped by 83 percent quarter-on-quarter, mainly because of the near disappearance of Kosovo nationals at the Hungarian border with Serbia. The drop in the numbers of Kosovo nationals resulted from a concerted measures undertaken by Kosovo, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Germany.

More than 2 200 migrants were detected seeking to pass the Western Balkans border crossing points hidden in vehicles – a six-fold rise from the previous quarter and the highest number since data collection began. Such a high increase was mainly due to the surge in detections at the border between Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Mac­edonia.

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