We saw excavators, police, dust, children who were scared and had gotten dirty and nervous citizens at the place where the Municipality of Center, with the assistance of the MOI, this morning started executing the decision of the inspection service for removing the illegally built houses, but also of the illegally formed settlement in “Urban park” in Skopje. CIVIL found out about this action from a report of a citizen journalist.
There are about ten families living here for two years now. They tore down our homes and we have nowhere to go, the state has left us on the streets. We live here and we survive by collecting plastic bottles and iron”, says one resident of the improvised illegally built neighborhood.
As to the question whether they were offered to be placed in the shelter “Cicino Selo”, they replied that they had received such an offer, but that they refused to go there.
“We can’t live there because the conditions are not good. We’ve heard from friends who have been placed there that their little girls were harassed, and so we refused to go to that center”, says one citizen who lived with his family there.
“There are too many stubborn people in Cicino Selo, and we are also stubborn and won’t agree”, says another person.
In the illegally built houses in “Urban Park” there are about ten children, one of which has epilepsy. His mother says that she has no conditions to take care of him, and that they also have no medications.
“We are left on the streets with this child now, and I don’t receive any assistance from the state for his treatment”, adds the mother. Another citizen adds – the only thing we receive from the state is the police to beat the Romas”.
Among the citizens of the improvised neighborhood, there are also people who have no personal identification. Such is the case with one citizen who complained in front of the cameras of CIVIL Media that he is 40 years old and has no documents, except for an identity card from the Red Cross.
“I have been sleeping on the streets for eight years. In the winter they accept me in the shelters, and in the summer they throw me out. I ask, where am I to go, where…It’s not our fault, nor is it Amdi Bajram’s, but rather it’s the state’s fault because there is no order. Where will I go tonight with my family, nobody cares if you’re indoors or outdoors”, he adds.
From the municipality they claim that in the past month they had spoken with the people who were settled in the park and were told that they would have to leave that place. They were also offered to be placed in one of the shelters of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.
After the Municipality of Center completely cleans up the area, it will start with reconstructing it, with planting and putting up urban equipment in the park.
The Municipality removed the illegally settled citizens and children from “Urban Park”, but where will those citizens go…?