Lesbos, Greece (CNN)There are no plans to move any more migrants from Lesbos after fires ripped through the island’s overcrowded refugee camp, the Greek government said Friday, adding that it will “not be blackmailed” by those unhappy with the arrangements.

Officials relocated 406 unaccompanied children to mainland Greece after a devastating blaze this week destroyed a large part of Moria, which was home to an estimated 13,000 people — more than six times the camp’s capacity.Refugees from the camp have been left homeless and hungry, with some sleeping at roadsides and gas stations while dozens of families took refuge in a nearby cemetery.Greek authorities said the series of fires appeared to have been deliberately lit after quarantine rules were imposed on residents who had tested positive for coronavirus at Europe’s largest refugee camp.Syrian asylum seekers camp on the side of the road a few kilometers from the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos after a devastating fire left them homeless.Syrian asylum seekers camp on the side of the road a few kilometers from the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos after a devastating fire left them homeless.Syrian asylum seekers camp on the side of the road a few kilometers from the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos after a devastating fire left them homeless.”The 35 [who tested positive for Covid-19] have not been located yet,” Director of the Greek Migration Minister’s office, Konstantinos Kostakos, said.Read More”They are still missing. We are introducing rapid Covid tests and new isolation spaces are also being created. We expect the situation to be under control very soon.”He said authorities will temporarily relocate about 1,000 migrants — particularly those in vulnerable groups — onto a ship that has docked at Sigri, on the western side of the island.A displaced family sleeps at a gas station early on Friday, September 11, after a fire destroyed the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this week.A displaced family sleeps at a gas station early on Friday, September 11, after a fire destroyed the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this week. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campA displaced family sleeps at a gas station early on Friday, September 11, after a fire destroyed the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this week.Hide Caption 1 of 24A migrant pulls a young girl on a cart on Friday.A migrant pulls a young girl on a cart on Friday. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campA migrant pulls a young girl on a cart on Friday.Hide Caption 2 of 24Migrants and asylum-seekers take refuge at a gas station on Friday.Migrants and asylum-seekers take refuge at a gas station on Friday. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campMigrants and asylum-seekers take refuge at a gas station on Friday.Hide Caption 3 of 24People jostle for food on Thursday, September 10.People jostle for food on Thursday, September 10. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campPeople jostle for food on Thursday, September 10.Hide Caption 4 of 24This aerial view, taken on September 10, shows the extent of fire damage at the Moria camp.This aerial view, taken on September 10, shows the extent of fire damage at the Moria camp. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campThis aerial view, taken on September 10, shows the extent of fire damage at the Moria camp.Hide Caption 5 of 24A firefighter works to put out a flame as fires continue to burn in the camp on September 10.A firefighter works to put out a flame as fires continue to burn in the camp on September 10. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campA firefighter works to put out a flame as fires continue to burn in the camp on September 10.Hide Caption 6 of 24Migrants line up for water and food distribution at a supermarket parking lot where many have taken refuge from the burned-out camp.Migrants line up for water and food distribution at a supermarket parking lot where many have taken refuge from the burned-out camp. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campMigrants line up for water and food distribution at a supermarket parking lot where many have taken refuge from the burned-out camp.Hide Caption 7 of 24Asylum seekers bathe in the smoldering camp.Asylum seekers bathe in the smoldering camp. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campAsylum seekers bathe in the smoldering camp.Hide Caption 8 of 24Unaccompanied minors from the migrant camp board a plane to be transferred to camps in northern Greece.Unaccompanied minors from the migrant camp board a plane to be transferred to camps in northern Greece. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campUnaccompanied minors from the migrant camp board a plane to be transferred to camps in northern Greece.Hide Caption 9 of 24Migrants flee the camp as a second fire breaks out on Wednesday, September 9.Migrants flee the camp as a second fire breaks out on Wednesday, September 9. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campMigrants flee the camp as a second fire breaks out on Wednesday, September 9.Hide Caption 10 of 24Fires continue to blaze for a second night.Fires continue to blaze for a second night. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campFires continue to blaze for a second night.Hide Caption 11 of 24People evacuate the camp with their belongings as firefighters work to extinguish the blaze.People evacuate the camp with their belongings as firefighters work to extinguish the blaze. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campPeople evacuate the camp with their belongings as firefighters work to extinguish the blaze.Hide Caption 12 of 24Smoke billows from burning containers used to house migrants.Smoke billows from burning containers used to house migrants. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campSmoke billows from burning containers used to house migrants.Hide Caption 13 of 24People walk through the charred remains of the camp on September 9.People walk through the charred remains of the camp on September 9. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campPeople walk through the charred remains of the camp on September 9.Hide Caption 14 of 24Families sleep next to a road in the aftermath of the fire.Families sleep next to a road in the aftermath of the fire. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campFamilies sleep next to a road in the aftermath of the fire.Hide Caption 15 of 24An aerial view shows destroyed shelters.An aerial view shows destroyed shelters. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campAn aerial view shows destroyed shelters.Hide Caption 16 of 24A girl stands amid burnt wreckage.A girl stands amid burnt wreckage. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campA girl stands amid burnt wreckage.Hide Caption 17 of 24A firefighter works to extinguish the blaze.A firefighter works to extinguish the blaze. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campA firefighter works to extinguish the blaze.Hide Caption 18 of 24A camp resident pours water over burning debris.A camp resident pours water over burning debris. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campA camp resident pours water over burning debris.Hide Caption 19 of 24This aerial photo shows burning container houses and tents.This aerial photo shows burning container houses and tents. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campThis aerial photo shows burning container houses and tents.Hide Caption 20 of 24A woman carries her belongings in the aftermath of the fire.A woman carries her belongings in the aftermath of the fire. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campA woman carries her belongings in the aftermath of the fire.Hide Caption 21 of 24Refugees and migrants flee as the fire spreads through Moria.Refugees and migrants flee as the fire spreads through Moria. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campRefugees and migrants flee as the fire spreads through Moria.Hide Caption 22 of 24Camp evacuees try to reach the port of Mytilene as police block a road during the fire.Camp evacuees try to reach the port of Mytilene as police block a road during the fire. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campCamp evacuees try to reach the port of Mytilene as police block a road during the fire.Hide Caption 23 of 24Migrants stand outside the Moria camp as it burns.Migrants stand outside the Moria camp as it burns. Photos: Fire devastates Lesbos migrant campMigrants stand outside the Moria camp as it burns.Hide Caption 24 of 2402 lesbos moria camp 091106 lesbos moria camp 091105 lesbos moria camp 091113 lesbos moria camp 091002 lesbos moria camp fire 091010 lesbos moria camp 091007 lesbos moria camp 091009 lesbos moria camp 091026 lesbos moria camp fire 090922a lesbos moria camp fire 090925 lesbos moria camp fire 090924 lesbos moria camp fire 0909 RESTRICTED18 lesbos moria camp fire 090921 lesbos moria camp fire 090915 lesbos moria camp fire 090914 lesbos moria camp fire 090920 lesbos moria camp fire 090916 lesbos moria camp fire 090919 lesbos moria camp fire 090906 Lesbos moria camp fires08 Lesmos moria camp fires05 Lesbos moria camp fires03 Lesbos moria camp fires13 lesbos moria camp fire 0909“This is the first ship that has docked on the island. If there is a need we will consider bringing more,” Kostakos said. But he warned that they will not be moved off the island.”The Greek government will not be blackmailed. What happened — this ‘burn and go’ tactic — will not be tolerated.”Several camp residents told CNN they believed Greek locals, rather than migrants, were responsible for the fires.France and Germany join forcesGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel last night confirmed a plan by France and Germany to take minors from the island, hoping other EU countries will also join.”I asked the Greek prime minister how we can help and his request was that we take in the minors who were taken to the Greek mainland,” Merkel said.”We have contacted France. Germany and France will participate in this.”Refugees protest a few kilometers from Europe's largest refugee camp, where quarantine measures were recently imposed after 35 residents tested positive for coronavirus.Refugees protest a few kilometers from Europe's largest refugee camp, where quarantine measures were recently imposed after 35 residents tested positive for coronavirus.Refugees protest a few kilometers from Europe’s largest refugee camp, where quarantine measures were recently imposed after 35 residents tested positive for coronavirus.Merkel said the issue of migration was not just Germany’s problem, nor the problem of the country where people arrive, adding that it must become a “European responsibility.”Her confirmation came after French President Emmanuel Macron said the two countries were coordinating to find a solution to welcome refugees from the camp.He added that Europe had to stand in solidarity with Greece in face of the “terrible reality that is before us.”‘Anger and despair’It is still unclear exactly how the fires started at the sprawling encampment, which extends out of the main UN camp into olive groves where thousands live in makeshift wooden huts in squalid conditions. Residents say they wait for hours to use a bathroom, and sometimes spend an entire day queuing for food.When CNN reported from the camp in March, a rank odor filled the air, the river was strewn with garbage and camp dwellers staged protests at the island’s main port on a nearly daily basis demanding transport to the Greek mainland. German charity group Mission Lifeline said in a statement that “the anger and despair of the refugees who have been interned at Moria erupted” after a lockdown was imposed.Homeless migrants and refugees at a roadside early on Friday after a fire destroyed the dangerously overcrowded camp.Homeless migrants and refugees at a roadside early on Friday after a fire destroyed the dangerously overcrowded camp.Homeless migrants and refugees at a roadside early on Friday after a fire destroyed the dangerously overcrowded camp.”First there was a dispute at the Covid-19 station in the camp which spread to the entire area during the night. Security forces used tear gas,” the statement said. “A large part of the dwellings burned down. The homeless people fled into the surrounding olive groves.”Axel Steier, co-founder of Mission Lifeline, said he had warned that the situation would “escalate” over the camp’s poor conditions.”The people in Moria are exposed to extreme psychological stress. The lockdown of the camp has now been the final straw,” said Steier. “The refugees in Moria are not treated as humans.”Faris Al-Jawad, from Doctors Without Borders, told CNN: “I was here in 2018 as well, to 2019, and I thought at that time that it couldn’t really get much worse. I’m here now in 2020, and I was wrong: it’s worse, and for children as well. We’re talking about children who have potentially never known anything but war and now their futures are once again being ripped away from them.”A Greek firefighter tries to extinguish the embers after a series of fires broke out.A Greek firefighter tries to extinguish the embers after a series of fires broke out.A Greek firefighter tries to extinguish the embers after a series of fires broke out.Congolese camp resident Paul Kadima Muzangueno told CNN a group of minors started the fire.”They started fires everywhere,” said Muzangueno. “Everything deteriorated quickly. The police did not contain the situation.”Another resident, who declined to disclose his full name for security reasons, said that “some people living in the camp were angry about the quarantine. They started a small fire. So police came and there was tear gas. And then the fire grew and we had to run.” “There is nothing there. I am standing out on the street, near the camp, there are many people here. There is also police but they don’t tell us where to go. We have no food or water. They say ‘wait here.’ It is very hot today and there are women and babies,” he added.”We lost everything, like clothes and medicines,” Mahtab, an Afghan migrant, told CNN.Lesbos residents have set up several roadblocks to keep out army or other vehicles carrying materials to rebuild or clean the camp.Locals are already at loggerheads with the government over plans to replace Moria with a closed reception center. They fear this would mean thousands of asylum-seekers would remain on the island permanently.

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/11/europe/lesbos-fire-migants-moria-camp-intl/index.html

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