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Iraq to repatriate citizens imprisoned on the Polish-Belarus border | Migration Issues

The first four flights to repatriate civilians of their own free will, the government said.

The Iraqi government will begin repatriating its citizens to the Polish-Belarus border, where people there are facing cold and famine.

Iraqi government officials have confirmed that the return flight will begin on Thursday for those wishing to return, “voluntarily”.

“Iraq will launch the first flight for those who want to return voluntarily,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Ahmed al-Sahaf said on Sunday.

He did not say how many people would be able to board the first Minsk-Baghdad flight, but said Iraq had enlisted 571 of its citizens who were adamant on the border showing that they wanted to be repatriated.

Thousands of people from the Middle East, including some from the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, are. they camped outside all sides of the Polish-Belarus border.

The West has accused Belarussian government of Alexander Lukashenko of creating a crisis by encouraging refugees to come to Belarus and try to break the border.

Lukasjenko, who has been in power for almost 30 years and has led a brutal crackdown on his enemies, has pleaded guilty to the charges and blamed West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied the allegations and called on the European Union to speak directly to Belarus.

To solve this problem

Frequent air connections between Baghdad and Minsk were suspended in August, prompting people to cross through Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Egypt, according to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

The United Arab Emirates banned Afghan, Syrian, Yemeni and Iraqi citizens from traveling to Minsk on Monday.

On Friday, Turkey banned the same group of citizens from flying from its airport to Belarus, while the Syrian secret agent Cham Wings Airlines on Saturday suspended flights to Minsk.

Deputy President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas is expected to travel to Baghdad on Monday to discuss the issue.

EU foreign ministers are due to meet Monday in Brussels to increase sanctions in Belarus.

Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, said ministers should accept sanctions for anyone involved in the smuggling of refugees, including airlines, travel agencies and officials.

“Lukashenko made a mistake. He thought that by doing this he would twist our arm and force us to give up the sentence,” said the Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly newspaper.

Belarusian authorities say that about 2,000 people, including pregnant women and children, are living in a large camp near the village of Bruzgi.

Poland has refused to allow refugees and refugees to enter and has criticized Belarus for barring them from leaving.

Despite the difficulties, some still cross the border but are often arrested. Poland says it is pushing back, sending border crossings back to Belarus.

Aid agencies say at least 10 refugees and internally displaced persons have died at the border so far – but note that the number cannot be calculated. They say the humanitarian crisis is occurring when temperatures drop below freezing, encouraging a decrease.

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