Memorial to the refugees who have died in Veles

In the cemetery of the town of Veles was held the memorial dedicated to the 14 refugees killed by the impact with the train, the accident occurred a year ago.

The commemoration was attended by representatives of the local authorities, UNHCR, NGO Legis, media and citizens. The initiator of this memorial is the famous humanitarian lady from Veles, Lenche Zdravkin.

It was unveiled a monument to the victims and were planted fourteen small cypress trees.

On this day, one year ago, a train traveling from Veles to Skopje run over fourteen refugees who followed the railroad tracks heading towards the north of the country. Although it was difficult to identify them, the surviving witnesses confirmed that they were thirteen Afghan and one Somali.

The local community in the commemoration held a prayer for the souls of the dead.

On this occasion, the High Commissioner of UNHCR for Macedonia Mohamad Arif, said: “These people had fled their homes because of the war, concerned about their salvation they arrived in a country where there was peace and have lost their lives in this place. This is a tragedy that must be avoided, each country must establish a system for their safety. I pray for their souls, but also for their families who are in pain somewhere far away from here".

Resting place for all

Lenche Zdravkin, which for two years helped all passing refugees along the route through Macedonia, says: "I felt a duty, as if I were the mother of all refugees who passed by my house, to offer them a place to rest, and  to remind them."

Mersiha Smailovic from the NGO Legis stated that this sad day is a milestone for all refugees who have crossed this land.

Then Legis officially requested to change the law on asylum to allow a dignified transition for refugees using public transport. The government had to take into account the law that came into force on 19th June 2015.

The Legis also enabled a relative of one of the victims to identify their son and visit his grave three months ago.

Other identities in the common grave are unknown.

Source: Al Jazeera