Migrants in a makeshift camp on the western border of Belarus are being taken away by bus, a Polish government official was quoted as saying Wednesday.
Thousands of migrants, primarily from the Middle East, have been stuck in the camp since Nov. 8. Most are escaping conflict and instability at home for opportunities in Germany or other countries in western Europe.
On Tuesday, Polish security forces along the border fired water cannons and tear gas at stone-throwing migrants, after Poland accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s government of providing smoke grenades and other weapons to the migrants.
But on Wednesday, a Polish deputy interior minister, Maciej Wasik, reportedly said tensions had deescalated and that the camp, which is now closed, had fewer people.
“I have received information that Lukashenko has provided the first buses which migrants are boarding and leaving,” Wasik said, according to The Associated Press. “The camp site near Kuznica is slowly emptying.”
The Associated Press reported Wasik’s information is hard to verify because of restrictions on journalists on both sides of the Belarusian-Polish border.
The Belarusian state news agency Belta reported that migrants were being sheltered inside a logistics center at the border.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak warned Wednesday in an interview with Poland’s Radio Jedynka the crisis at the border could last months or even years, according to Agence France-Presse.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.