Polish-Belarusian border. Expert: Resentment and aggression among migrants will only increase

– Certainly, the majority of people coming to the Polish-Belarusian border ended up there in search of a peaceful life, stability and security. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that there are no people associated with criminal or terrorist circles among them. That is why the entire process of identifying foreigners is so important, which not only requires time, but also trained people who will perform their activities effectively – said the expert in an interview for PAP.

She explained that the Border Guard trainings that she conducts take into account symbolism, terrorist propaganda and knowledge in the field of broadly understood cultural security. – The aim of the training is to sensitize officers to elements that should worry them, but also to expand their knowledge about the Middle East. My task is to separate facts from fiction and I try to pass these practical skills to the Polish services. The Middle East is not far away, it is already here, whether we like it or not. It is important that we know and understand the culture of the people who become our direct neighbors. The sooner we can identify them, the easier it will be for us to live together. Let us remember that some migrants will stay here, because there is simply nothing to come back to. I am talking, for example, about Syrians or Afghans – said the expert.

Dr. Magdalena El Ghamari, when asked who actually the migrants camped on the border, replied that according to FRONTEX data, the eastern land borders are illegally crossed by Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Congolese and Russians. – Data from the Border Guard for the last quarter will probably appear in January 2022, then we will know exactly who in this difficult time cross not only the Polish-Belarusian border, which is 418 km long, but also other sections, including the Ukrainian one (535 km) . That is why the identification process itself is so difficult and long. We are talking about people who speak many different languages, come from different countries, of different ages. Let us remember that some migrants are traumatized, while others run away from some problems that happened to them in their place of origin – she explained.

The fact that we are dealing with a full spectrum of people about whom we de facto know nothing, indicated that for this reason there is no easy way out of the situation, which – as we can see – is only getting worse. – We don’t know the history of these people. We do not know how much time they stayed on the territory of Belarus, or where they stayed before. It happens that during the identification, a given foreigner says that he is Iraqi, and then it turns out that he is a Kurd who comes from Iraq, but has been in the territory of the Russian Federation for years, said Dr. Magdalena El Ghamari.

Referring to the problems that officers are now reporting about, she explained that most often these are difficulties with the identification of a foreigner and the lack of appropriate communication mechanisms. I try to answer questions and help translate materials that the services find during basic operational activities in the phones and belongings of foreigners. It is not known whether they were uploaded by force or maybe they result from ignorance. What is the actual content of this type of material. It happens that when officers see information in a foreign language, they automatically assume that it is Arabic. Often, however, the text is found to be in Pashta or Urdu. The exceptions are not situations in which, after a thorough analysis of the case, it turns out that the person had no idea that his phone contained materials suggesting belonging to terrorist organizations. To be able to separate the good from the bad, you first need to know who these people are. Are the arriving foreigners really who they say they are and whether their documents are correct – she said.

She admitted that she is constantly changing the individual elements of the training in relation to which groups are at the border at a given moment. – The situation is very dynamic. We should also remember that changes are also taking place in the Middle East. After a decade of war, entire societies are changing cultural codes. Examples include Syria or Iraq. We have to analyze and interpret all of this precisely in the context of security and the local situation on the spot in the entire MENA region (Middle East and North Africa – ed.) – she added.

– Foreigners in the border area differ in language, origin and religion. We can expect a repeat of the Balkans, where, over time, there were tensions and fights between groups of migrants. In addition, the frustration associated with the situation they find themselves in, the cold and the hunger, is growing – she said when asked whether the assumption that migrants will be more and more aggressive is correct.

– The reluctance and aggression among migrants will only increase. An example is the attempt to cross the Polish-Belarusian border on November 18, on the sections protected by the Border Guard in Dubicze Cerkiewne and Mielnik. One of the groups consisted of about 500 people. The migrants were very aggressive, stones and branches were thrown at the soldiers and officers of the Border Guard. People in the crowd also used tear gas. Another example is the assault from the border crossing in Kuźnica, where sticks, stones, metal pipes, blast and tear grenades were used, which were used to attack the Polish services – she said.

When asked if people in the Middle East were aware of the situation on our eastern border, she replied that unfortunately not. – Of course, recent events have caught the attention of all international media. Arabic-speaking stations inform about the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border every day. But will this stop migrants from embarking on their journey? I do not know. It is a process designed from A to Z by the Belarusian regime. There are whole groups that not only broker real estate in Iraq, but also organize the flight and ensure that for the equivalent of all possessions, they will help migrants enter the EU. They end up trapped in the border zone. At each stage, foreigners are not only uninformed but also unaware of the situation. And yet, coming to Europe could be safer and, above all, legal. At least 2,000 of foreigners have been stuck in camps near the border, and it is estimated that around 5,000 remain in Belarus. migrants – said Dr. Magdalena El Ghamari – an expert in terrorism, cultural security, Islam, conducting military operations in a different cultural environment – High Risk Area.


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