BELGRADE – Ministry buys 2.5 tons of razor-wire to fence off migrant centres

Serbia’s defence ministry is purchasing almost 2.5 tons of razor-wire to constructing fences around migrant reception centres and accommodation centres for asylum seekers, according to the invitation for public procurement procedure listed on the ministry’s website, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported on Wednesday (20 May).

According to the tender documentation, which the defence ministry published on 15 May, iron posts and galvanised tying wire are also being procured. 

“Due to the exceptional urgency caused by extraordinary circumstances or unforeseen events, the onset of which did in no way depends on the will of the buyer, the buyer was unable to act within the deadlines prescribed for the open or restrictive procedures,” the document states.

It added that the Serbian armed forces were given a task not typically performed in times of peace, which was to secure the migrant centres.

“Consequently, the possible procurement could not have been foreseen and included in the annual procurement plan for 2020,” the document added.

Serbian troops were deployed on 16 May in the northwestern town of Sid, near the Croatian border. They were ordered to guard three migrant centres which house nearly 2,000 migrants. 

However, after RFE asked the ministry which centres would be fitted with razor-wire fences and why the ministry was doing this, the defence ministry didn’t respond, RFE reported.

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