Voices can still be heard amid the ruins of the camp. Between the burnt shelves of the tents, one can see women and children playing football. Thousands of refugees still live in Moria, even though their refuges burned down a few days ago. – We want to be free. We came here to live – one of them said in an interview with the Reuters agency.
More than 12,000 people, mostly refugees from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria, have been deprived of shelter, sanitation, and access to food and water after the fire that devastated the overcrowded Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last Wednesday. On Thursday, the Greek police began the process of resettlement of some of the inhabitants of Moria to a transit camp. The new Kara Tepe resort, near the port city of Mytilene, is to accommodate at least 5,000 people.
Only a few hundred migrants, mostly unaccompanied minors, were deported from Lesvos. Greek authorities said there would be no mass move and all asylum seekers would have to go to the new refuge. “Nobody will leave Lesbos without first staying in a transit camp,” said Civil Defense Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis.
“We want to be free. We came here to live”
Some of the refugees remaining in Moria are trying to create living conditions for themselves and their relatives, from what has been preserved in the ruins after the fire has passed. One of them is 23-year-old Aman Ullah. He comes from the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, but has been living in Lesbos for a year.
In the recordings from the site of the site of the former camp, you can see him playing ping-pong with his friends, on a table made of a piece of wooden board. – We want to be free. We came here to live. We are people, not animals – he said in an interview with the Reuters agency. – The authorities are forcing us to move to another camp prepared for us. Some, however, already live there and complain about the conditions – he added.
He called on the Greek government to allow migrants to leave the island. – Life is hard here. We experienced hunger and thirst here. Four days have passed since I last drank clean water and ate. I am looking for water on my own, otherwise our children and I will die of thirst, ‘said Aman.
In the photos from Moria you can see a group of children playing football in the fire. There is ash around. Between them, another boy is riding a scooter. Inside a makeshift shelter, two Afghan children sing a song about the hardships of a tired traveler. One of them plays the tune by hitting the can.
“Europe cannot afford a second failure on migration”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Micotakis announced on Sunday that Greece would build a permanent migrant center in Lesvos to replace the overpopulated Moria. The construction of the new center will be an opportunity to reset the policy related to handling incoming migrants. “We want to turn this problem into an opportunity,” he said.
“Europe should be more involved in managing the new hub wherever we ultimately decide it should be,” he said at a press conference.
He added that the burning of the Moira camp “was a warning bell for everyone.” Europe cannot afford a second failure in terms of migration, said the Prime Minister.
Main photo source: Reuters