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Slovenia calls on army to aid migration flow

Slovenia has called on the army to assist police as hundreds of asylum seekers arrive in the Schengen member state via Croatia. The move follows Hungary's decision to lock down its border with Croatia.

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on Saturday that the government has paved the way for the country's military to support police as they manage the influx of refugees crossing the border by way of Croatia.

"The army's assistance does not mean there is an extraordinary situation in Slovenia, but that the government wants to manage the situation at the border. It will only assist police with logistics and equipment," Cerar said during a press conference following a national security council meeting.

"We are going to focus even more on safety and security and order, so our country can function normally," Cerar added.

However, the prime minister reiterated Ljubljana's position that if Germany or Austria closed their borders, "Slovenia will follow suit."

Slovenian and Croatian authorities have been coordinating their response to the influx of asylum seekers and migrants after Hungary early Saturday closed its border with non-Schengen member Croatia.

Budapest also reinstated border controls with fellow Schengen member Slovenia.

Hungary's move has forced migrants to divert their route on their way to more prosperous EU countries, such as Germany and Sweden.

Slovenian authorities are registering asylum seekers before transporting them to close to Austrian border

Slovenian authorities are registering asylum seekers before transporting them close to the Austrian border

Struggling for cohesive plan

According to Slovenian authorities, several hundred migrants entered the country on Saturday, Reuters news agency reported.

Ljubljana shut down all train traffic from Croatia in a bid to "control" the flow of migrants entering Slovenia.

Europe is struggling to form a cohesive plan to address the influx of asylum seekers and migrants fleeing war-torn and impoverished countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported in September that more than half a million refugees and migrants had entered the EU in 2015.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on EU countries to express more solidarity by implementing a cohesive plan to address the wave of migration. However, her open-door policy has come under increased scrutiny from conservative allies.

ls/tj (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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