On his Facebook fan page, the mayor of Karposh Municipality, Stevcho Jakimovski, wrote a statement on government’s refugee policy, which is a part of his support of the Initiative for referendum against building refugee shelter centers in the municipalities in Macedonia. His statement contains several untruthful elements:
Macedonia is not a country that has bombed or has participated in the bombing of Syria, therefore it isn’t obligated to shelter refugees. The ones that are supposed to shelter them are the ones that have bombarded them, in this case the USA and Russia…
Macedonia should shelter refugees, and that’s how it goes, but only if there are military activities in the region, such as the case with the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
The Strategy on Refugees makes the local self-governments assume the majority of obligations – accommodation, inclusion of the refugees in the education i.e. in our schools, stimulating employment measures, whilst the government will provide them with citizenship only.
Karposh Municipality is not ready to shelter 5000 Syrian refugees and jeopardize the rest of its citizens. That’s why I sign this initiative…
While explaining the arguments why he has signed and bolstered the initiative against building refugee shelter centers in the municipalities of the Republic of Macedonia, the mayor Jakimovski gave arguments which are deemed to be untruthful.
His statement, or explanation, is a mélange of political stances and untruthful facts regarding the obligations assumed by the Republic of Macedonia, the local self-government and the intentions of the government, which should adopt a paper – strategy on this issue for the period 2017-2027, through the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP).
Macedonia is not a country that has bombed or has participated in the bombing of Syria, therefore it isn’t obligated to shelter refugees…
Viewed from the aspect of the obligations the Republic of Macedonia has been assigned to by international institutions, which have also been incorporated in the domestic legislature (from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, through the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, to the Law on Asylum and the Law on Citizenship, which lays down the right of Macedonian citizenship for persons with the status of refugees), this part of the statement does not comply with the truth.
The fact that Macedonia has obligations towards refugees, as jeopardized people treated according to the rules of international protection, is undeniable.
However, the claims that Macedonia should shelter refugees solely if there are wars in the region and just because that’s how it goes (refers to the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo), have nothing to do with the truth. Macedonia is obligated to shelter refugees from anywhere in the world, not only from the region.
The capacities of the Republic of Macedonia for dealing with huge waves of refugees, which were put to the test during the migrant and refugee crisis over the past two years, are a completely different issue. Also, the Republic of Macedonia worked closely with the international community, and its capacities were clearly defined.
The Strategy on Refugees makes the local self-governments assume the majority of obligations…
This part of the statement can be freely considered as untruthful. MLSP’s Proposed Strategy stresses that one of the weaknesses of the previous strategy, and the practice in general, was the low level of participation on the part of the local self-government regarding the housing as well as the relief of the procedures for obtaining citizenship.
Karposh Municipality is not ready to shelter 5000 Syrian refugees… that’s why I sign this initiative for referendum.
Who, when and where has asked the Karposh Municipality to shelter 5000 Syrian refugees? Apparently, the answer to this question will disclose that it’s a matter of a manipulation based on untruthful implicit assertion that somebody has asked such a thing from the Municipality.
Several weeks ago, the government, i.e. MLSP, has finally come out with clear stances regarding such assertions, and has precisely explained that Macedonia has been and will remain transit country for refugees:
The news that the country will be building flats for refugees and that they would stay in Macedonia is fake. No refugee camps will be built in the Republic of Macedonia, no citizenships will be issued to refugees and no other measures will be activated in this regard.
Every different information is incorrect, untruthful and a lie… (Source: government of the RM)
Due to the aforementioned arguments, we assess some parts of Stevche Jakimovski’s statement as untruthful.
- Makfax – Стевчо Јакимовски: Бегалците да ги примат САД и Русија, а не Македонија
- MLSP – Стратегија за интеграција на бегалци и странци во РМ 2008-2015
- MLSP – Стратегија за интеграција на бегалци и странци во РМ 2017 – 2027
- UN – Универзална декларација за човекови права
- UNHCR – Конвенција за статусот на бегалците
- Government of the Republic of Macedonia – Соопштенија
Assessed by: Teo Blazhevski