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14 May 2019

Additional Slovenian Soldiers to Protect Schengen Border with Croatia

Schengen internal border controlsSlovenia has deployed additional members of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) to protect the Schengen border with Croatia, due to the number on the rise of illegal border crossing.

The SAF confirmed last weekend that an additional 35 soldiers were deployed to the border on Saturday, while there are currently 66 soldiers in a daily shift.

According to the Slovenian Defense Minister Karl Erjavec the armed forces sent to the border will help the police units to deal with the number of illegal crossing of the border.

I can say that we have units ready to boost the presence of the Slovenian army on the southern border at any moment, of course in mixed units with the police,” the minister said.

Erjavec also added that he is in constant touch with the Minister of Interior Bostjan Poklukar regarding the issue.

The move to enforce the borders with additional STA forces comes after hundreds of people protested at the town of Cernomelj, close to the border with Croatia. The protesters demanded the strengthening of borders and ensuring safety for those living close the border.

The protests were triggered after an incident in which four illegal migrants abducted an elderly man and used his car to drive to the border with Italy, in the same week.

Instead of ensuring our safety, those in charge have been telling us that Slovenia is safe and that there is no reason for fear,” Maja Kocjan, president of the local initiative behind the protests said during the rally.

Slovenia joined the Schengen Area on 16 April 2003, whereas Croatia is still in the process of joining the territory. The latter has to meet the technical criteria in order to be able to join.

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