Lesbos Fire: France and Germany plan to help migrants from Moria refugee camp

Macron said during a speech, “We are coordinating to make a proposal, Germany and France, and we include maximum European countries, especially to welcome the refugees and minors based on the demands of the Greek government.” Trying to do. ” Corsica.

He said that Europe had to “stand in solidarity with Greece in the face of the terrible reality before us.”

Details of the response will be finalized “in the coming hours,” Macron said. On Thursday evening, the Med7 Summit will gather leaders from southern European countries in Porticosio, Corsica.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted, “What is happening in Moria is humanitarian destruction.” “As soon as possible, we have to be ready to help with the EU Commission and other EU countries, how we can support Greece. This includes distribution among those in the EU who accept them Ready to do. ”

Greek authorities believe that residents who set fire to the camp with the lockdown measures related to the coronaires expressed “dissatisfaction”.

A series of fires destroyed the island's notorious excessive refugee camp, leaving thousands in dire need of shelter.

Moria, which was in lockdown earlier this week after testing positive for Kovid-19 for 35 people, was home to an estimated 13,000 people, more than six times its maximum capacity of 2,200 people. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 4,000 children lived in the camp.

In a statement, Greek Prime Minister Kiriyakos Mitsotakis declared a state of emergency on the island, condemning the rioters as saying that the fire that broke out in the camp was triggered.

“I know the difficult situations. However, nothing can become a pretext for violent reactions to health screenings. And, there is much more to riots of this magnitude,” Mitsotakis said. “The situation cannot continue in Moria as it is a matter of public health, humanity and national security at the same time.”

The country’s Minister of Migration and Asylum Paniagotis Mitrachis confirmed to CNN that the fire appeared to be deliberately burning, adding that a new “safer” and “more humane” facility is needed.

“It is clear that we need a new facility that is more secure and provides a more humane condition and provides the appropriate capacity needed,” he said.

Unearthly children

The Greek government said in a statement on Thursday that a group of more than 400 unconscious children had been removed from Lesbos.

“With the coordinated actions by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum and the International Migration Organization, the departure of 406 illegal minors from Lesbos was completed at dawn,” the statement said.

On Wednesday night, a group of children boarded one of the three planes carrying 406 unaccounted minors from the burnt camp to mainland Greece.

The children were first sent to Odysseus Altis Airport in Lesbos’ capital Mybilene for shelter on the island before leaving in three chartered flights, according to the statement, at 10 pm on Thursday and 7.30 pm on Thursday.

“The children have been moved to safe housing facilities in northern mainland Greece, where they will remain temporarily, as the transfer program for EU countries and their placement in the long-term mainland continues unabated,” the statement said Is, “the statement stated that minors have been tested for Kovid-19.

“The main concern of the Greek government is the safety of at-risk people.”

According to the Greek government, the children will eventually be transferred to countries in the European Union.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Greek government spokesman Stelios Godas said the migrants accused of starting the fire: “They thought that if they burn Moria, with no exceptions, everybody will leave the island . We are telling them what they did not understand. They are not going to leave because of the fire, except for the unaccompanied minors who have already moved. So, whatever it was that those who started the fire Had in mind, they can forget it. ”

Another small fire broke out at Moria Camp on Thursday. Local residents have erected a number of obstacles for the military or other vehicles carrying materials to rebuild or clean the camp.

Lesbos residents already have plans to replace Moria with a closed reception center at Loggerheads with the government. Locals fear that thousands of refugees will remain permanently on the island.

‘The whole camp is burnt’

There are no reports of injuries, but George Mutafis, a photographer on the ground, said the Greek TV channel Mega had “completely destroyed” the camp.

“The Moria camp no longer exists. The camp has been completely destroyed. Containers and tents have been completely destroyed. Now people have come out. Many migrants and refugees are now back in the camp and their belongings Are looking for, ”Mustasis said.

“All the camp is burned,” he said on Wednesday.

Charities and activist groups on the ground also said that the fire destroyed a large part of the camp.

“Some people who were in the camp last night were angry about the quarantine. They started a small fire. So the police came and tear gas came. And then the fire escalated and we had to flee,” said a camp resident. Said, who refused. For security reasons, please give his full name.

The resident said, “There is nothing there. I am standing on the street outside, near the camp. There are many people here. There are also police, but they do not tell us where to go.” “We don’t have any food or water. They say ‘stop here.” It is very hot today and there are women and children. ”

Congolese camp resident Paul Kadima Mujungino told CNN that a group of minors opened fire.

“They started fires everywhere,” Mujungeno said. “Everything quickly deteriorated. The police did not have the situation.”

A group of 406 uncountable minors have been removed from the island.  The camp was home to an estimated 13,000 people, more than six times its maximum capacity.

“In the evening, the anger and despair of refugees who had taken refuge in Moria erupted,” the German charity group Mission Lifeline said in a statement.

“There was a dispute at the Kovid-19 station in the first camp which spread throughout the night at night. Security forces used tear gas,” the statement said. “A large proportion of the habitats burned. Homeless people fled to the surrounding olive trees.”

Mission Life co-founder Axel Steer said he warned that the situation would escalate “from the camp’s worsening conditions”, calling the lockdown measures “the final straw”.

A woman takes a child after a fire breaks through a migrant camp on the Greek Aegean island.

“People in Moria are exposed to extreme psychological stress. The camp lock is now the final straw,” Steer said. “In Moria, refugees are not treated as human beings.

“Among other things, we asked [German] The federal government again to expel all people from the Greek camps. But hardly anything has happened, ”Steer said.

State of lemon

Moriah encroachment originated from the UN main camp and spread to olive groves where thousands of people live in wooden huts. Its residents say they wait hours to use a bathroom, and sometimes queue up a full day for food.

When CNN reported from the camp in March, a rank odor filled the air, the river was littered with garbage and camp dwellers protested at the island’s main port on an almost daily basis demanding transportation to the Greek mainland did.

A girl stands among the rubble in the burnt camp after residents believe the burnt Greek authorities.

On Wednesday, migrant residents of Moria described hanging in the balance, waiting for authorities’ instructions among their sacred belongings. “We have not been told anything. No one has shown up,” Mujungeno said. “We are here and we are waiting.”

Mitsotakis has promised to house the migrants in “suitable tents”, but said they would be banned from leaving the island.

The United Nations refugee agency said in a statement on Wednesday that it had deployed staff to the region and offered assistance to Greek authorities.

“UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, destroyed the fire that destroyed Moria’s Registration and Identification Center (RIC) last night and thanked the local authorities, including the fire department and emergency services who helped prevent the fire. Helped and helped people “the statement said.

CNN’s Barbara Vojer and Emma Reynolds contributed to this report.


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