It was gloaming when we reached the Dry River* bridge. Then, the silence of the post-apocalyptic scenery got broken by the sound of the footsteps of dozens of people who popped up from the bushes on the other side of the dry riverbed. They crossed the bridge in silence. Most of them with their heads down. Mostly young people. There’s a young woman with two children, accompanied by two men who looked at the camera. Syria! – said one of them, trying to use one word, to explain what can’t be explained at all. They ask questions while walking. There’s a young man leaning on a stick, probably inured. They all speak English. There was a question if there are police on the other end of the bridge. They already know that authorities in Macedonia are ruthless.
They crossed the bridge.
On the highway, we see many smaller columns of war affected refugees. In just one hour drive on the section of the highway before we reached the town of Veles, we saw several hundreds of refugees. Most of them walk; few dozens of them ride bicycles they buy from the locals.
Feelings of helplessness and compassion is accompanied with anger and repulsion by war, but also by the heartlessness of our authorities that did not find the time and virtue to help the thousands of sufferers as much as required by international standards, at least.
Monday, June 15, the illegitimate government of Gruevski is expected to make a legitimate step and fulfill the obligations of this country towards this category of people. The obligation remains – to decisively sanction persons in uniforms and any other person that abuse and exploit refugees.
Text and Photo: Xhabir Deralla