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18 November 2021, 16:26

Both refugee camps at, near Belarusian border checkpoint Bruzgi now empty

GRODNO, 18 November (BelTA) – On the 11th day since their arrival at the Belarusian-Polish border the refugees abandoned both spontaneous camps near the Polish border line, BelTA has learned.

Tensions flared up on 16 November when Polish law enforcement personnel employed water cannons against the unarmed refugees. After that the refugees were invited to move to a temporary accommodation facility in a nearby logistics hub. About 1,000 people spent the first night indoors over there while hundreds continued waiting for the opening of a humanitarian corridor while staying outdoors in a camp near the Belarusian border checkpoint Bruzgi and in the initial camp the refugees set up on the first day of their arrival at the Belarusian-Polish border.

Cold nights and rough conditions affected the state of the people, who remained at the border. They gradually moved to the nearby logistics hub. Both outdoor camps were vacated on 18 November. Only huts, remnants of tents, abandoned clothes, and ashes in campfires are left in the camps now.

Safe conditions are available to the refugees in the transportation and logistics hub Bruzgi. They spend nights in heated premises and are provided with bed linen and a change of clothes. The refugees also get hot meals, clean water, and medical services. A shop van was parked outside the logistics hub on 18 November.

Belarus' border service: over 2,000 refugees at Bruzgi checkpointBelarus
In order to keep warm, the refugees have set up tents on the grounds of the checkpoint right on the asphalt and concrete, make fires in its vicinity. Immigrants from the Middle East continue to be waiting for a humanitarian corridor for further travel to the EU countries.
Situation at Belarusian-Polish border somewhat stabilizedSituation at Belarusian-Polish border somewhat stabilized
Despite the certain stabilization of the border situation Polish law enforcement personnel periodically use water cannons against refugees at the border checkpoint and the nearby area. The refugees are trying to distance themselves, cover kids, and dry their clothes.
Use of chemicals at Belarusian-Polish border confirmedUse of chemicals at Belarusian-Polish border confirmed
Objects were collected on 16 November after examining the site of the incident (a section of the Belarusian-Polish border in the area of the border checkpoint Bruzgi in Belarus' territory) and submitted to the State Forensic Examination Committee for chemical tests.
Refugee: Accommodation in logistics is very good, but we still hope to reach GermanyRefugee: Accommodation in logistics is very good, but we still hope to reach Germany
One of the refugees said that everyone is waiting for Germany's decision to take them in. "I'm from Iraq. This camp is very good. We appreciate what Belarus is doing for us. But still we hope to reach Germany. We don't intend to go home."
Space cleared on second floor of Belarusian logistics hub Bruzgi for incoming refugeesSpace cleared on second floor of Belarusian logistics hub Bruzgi for incoming refugees
The official said: “We've cleared space on the second floor for those, who have agreed to move here from the camp at the border. About 350m2. And there is another reserve site on the first floor for the same purpose. About 100 people will be able to stay downstairs and about 200 people will be able to move here.”
Refugees in Belarus border checkpoint camp split into groups, getting transferred into logistics hubRefugees in Belarus border checkpoint camp split into groups, getting transferred into logistics hub
Suffering from cold and the long wait for the European Union's decision to open a humanitarian corridor, most of the refugees from the field camp have decided to move to the warehouse.

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