German police stop far-right vigilantes trying to patrol the Polish border

According to a statement from the Brandenburg Southern Police press office, the group was armed with pepper spray, a bayonet, a weapon and batons.

Police said its members were responding to a call from the far-right “Der Drit Weg” (Third Way) party for a so-called “border walk”.

A growing number of migrants are attempting to enter the European Union from Belarus, amid allegations that officials in Minsk are facilitating migration to the bloc’s eastern border.

Police in the town of Guben in Brandenburg – one of the three German states bordering Poland, along with Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – confirmed to CNN that several members of the vigilante group had been stopped there and in nearby villages. .

Some of those stopped by police had traveled to the region from other parts of the country, Reuters reported.

According to a local chapter of the Salvation Army, on Saturday, 120 men from Guben held a vigil to protest the planned far-flung border patrol.

Saxony chief Michael Kreischmer in an interview on Sunday condemned the patrol and spoke out against right-wing extremism.

“Germany is a Christian country and refugees should be treated fairly – even if they do not have the right to live in Germany. We are human and we treat others as human beings,” Kreischmer told public-service broadcaster ARD. “We must take a clear stand against right-wing extremism.”

Police said in a statement that German authorities will continue to patrol the German-Polish border and are working closely with federal authorities.

Police in Guben told CNN that the number of federal police sent to help secure the Polish border had increased “substantially”, but did not confirm how many additional officers had been deployed to the area. .

On Sunday, the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer revealed the picture on Sunday Newspapers that an additional 800 officers were sent to the area.

“Hundreds of officers are currently on duty there day and night. If need be, I am ready to strengthen them further,” Seehofer told the newspaper.

Seehofer said so far this year there have been 6,162 unauthorized entries from Belarus and Poland to Germany.

Last week, Seehofer said there were no plans to close the border with Poland, but on Sunday he said controls may have to be imposed.

Poland plans to spend more than $400 million on wall along Belarus border

“If the situation on the German-Polish border does not ease, we will also have to consider whether this step should be taken in coordination with Poland and the State of Brandenburg. The decision will come to the next government,” he said.

Several EU states have accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of sending migrants to the border with the EU after Belarusian authorities forced a Ryanair plane to land in Minsk after arresting an opposition blogger on board. Can you

The European Union has said it will continue to counter what it has called a “hybrid attack by the Belarusian regime…” and has condemned the use of migrants for political purposes.

Lukashenko denied this and blamed the West for what he said was a humanitarian disaster after migrants were stranded at the Belarusian-Polish border.