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Why did Macedonia shut its border to refugees?

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Before, people could just walk across the Macedonian border. (Vasco Asturiano/Flickr)

Afraid of the impending EU deal with Turkey, around 2,000 refugees crossed the border from Greece to Macedonia prompting the Macedonian police to close off the border. Migrants had been stuck in Idomeni, Greece for a few weeks and conditions were getting bad following days of rain. They finally decided to find a way to cross the border fence somehow and made their way across to Macedonia.

Last week, Macedonia stopped any migrants from coming in. The country already has a bad track-record dealing with refugees. So, the refugees were forced to cross mountains and a turbulent river to find a gap in the barbed-wire fence which separates the two countries.

Three migrants tragically drowned in a river on their journey.

The Macedonian police detained the migrants and said they would all be returned to Greece. At least 20 journalists, who had been following the journey along with the migrants were also detained.

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Why did Macedonia shut its border to refugees?

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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