Slovenia to deploy soldiers to assist police patrols on border with Croatia

Slovenian police controlling the section of the border with Croatia that has not been fenced off will as of next week be joined by several hundred soldiers with partial police powers, the parliamentary defence committee decided on Friday.

The decision was adopted unanimously and it should be confirmed at a plenary session of parliament on Monday, requiring a two-thirds majority that has already been secured.

Over the next three months about 200 to 800 soldiers could be deployed to the border because of the migrant crisis. This is the maximum number of soldiers that can be secured from existing reserve forces, a representative of the defence ministry told the committee.

Combined patrols will be organised on the green border consisting of one policeman and two soldiers, however, only police will be able to use force, except in extraordinary circumstances. Soldiers will also be posted to help at migrant centres.

The soldiers will be able to use police powers if a larger number of illegal crossings were to occur along the border that has not been fenced off.

The Slovenian border with Croatia stretches over 671 kilometres, and a razor wire fence has been erected along a 168 kilometre section.

Slovenian chief-of-police Marijan Fank told the committee that at a recent meeting of police chiefs of countries along the Balkan migrant route it was decided that each country would be responsible for the migrants on its territory even though a proposal had been made to transport migrants directly by train to the Slovenian-Austrian border once they were profiled in Macedonia.

Last update: Fri, 19/02/2016 - 19:43

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