Barracks not available to house Ukrainian refugees, army says

The authorities in the city of Bern recently opened a centre to house up to 1,000 refugees from Ukraine in prefab residential containers. © Keystone/Anthony Anex

The Swiss armed forces have again rejected requests to house Ukrainian refugees in army accommodation.

This content was published on July 12, 2022 - 11:54

Buildings, including barracks, could not be put at the disposal of refugees because the army needed them for the troops, an army spokesman said on Swiss public radio, RTS.

Several cantonal authorities had asked the justice ministry to help accommodate refugees from Ukraine if the situation worsened later this year.

The armed forces already rejected demands from two cantons in western Switzerland earlier this year.

Talks are scheduled between the head of the State Secretariat for Migration and defence ministry representatives later this week.

Private accommodation

More than 60,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine currently live in Switzerland; more than half of them have been put up by citizens.

The Swiss authorities have warned that the number of refugees could reach up to 120,000 by the end of the year.

However, Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said the number of Ukrainian refugees had dropped considerably over the past few weeks.

An increasing number of people had also decided to return to Ukraine, Keller-Sutter told the newspapers of the CH Media group on Tuesday.

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