Tensions rise as thousands more attempt illegal crossing from Belarus to Poland

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border has intensified after hundreds of additional groups of foreign nationals attempted to illegally breach the Polish border.

According to a recent report from Poland’s Border Guard, 101 foreign nationals tried to enter Poland illegally from Belarus on May 1, many of them originating from Eritrea. Meanwhile, 27 people turned back to Belarus upon seeing a border guard patrol.

On April 30, 56 foreign nationals, including citizens of Somalia and Azerbaijan, attempted to cross the border illegally. Almost every day, dozens of people try to cross the border illegally, with 31 attempts on April 29, 75 on April 28, and 98 on April 27.

Officials report there were 2,400 attempts to cross the border illegally in April and 8,000 since the beginning of the year.

The Border Guard also reported a group of migrants from Gabon and Guinea sought to cross the Swisłocz River in an attempt to bypass the barrier at the border.

“All of the migrants go to Moscow and then to Belarus,” the Border Guard said, claiming many foreign nationals heading toward the border have been issued with Russian visas in recent days.

Prof. Maciej Duszczyk, a migration expert, stated in a recent interview with Gazeta Wyborcza daily that the migration route from Belarus still “leaks” through Poland, adding that while the border barrier reduced illegal migration, it did not eliminate it.

According to Duszczyk, migrants adapt to the situation and seek alternative routes such as crossing through river floodplains when the wall is impenetrable. Belarusian services have become more sophisticated, dividing migrants into 10 subgroups to try to get through, explained Duszczyk.

“Polish Border Guards can only stop a few groups, while the rest escape. While perimeter security such as cameras and seismic sensors are helpful, to stop this type of immigration, border guards would have to be stationed every few hundred meters, which is impossible,” he added.

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