His Majesty King Philippe travelled with Prime Minister Charles Michel to the reception centre for asylum seekers managed by the Red Cross in Belgrade’s military compound near Namur on Thursday just before 4:00 p.m. Theo Francken, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, and Anne Barzin, Namur Alderwoman in charge of the city’s jurisdiction, arrived on site earlier.
There are currently 145 asylum seekers in Belgrade, mostly from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia. They are almost all men as the premises are not set up to easily welcome women and children. 50 more are due to arrive soon, taking the total to 200 on Thursday evening, and numbers are expected to reach 450 in the next two weeks.
The King is speaking to volunteers and Red Cross employees (Belgrade reception centre employs 32 people) on Thursday afternoon, before taking part in a work meeting. Belgrade emergency workers rushed to set up approximately 100 tents housing 4 refugees each.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)