Activities of Stajerska Guard prompt Slovenia's security council to convene

Activities of Stajerska Guard prompt Slovenia's security council to convene

Activities of Stajerska Guard prompt Slovenia's security council to convene Izvor: Ilustracija, Jure Makovec / AFP

The recent camping of members of the Stajerska Guard, known as an anti-migrant paramilitary group in Slovenia led by far-right politician Andrej Sisko, near the border with Croatia, prompted Slovenia's National Security Council to hold a meeting on Wednesday.

The Council called on the ministries of justice and the interior to prepare amendments to the penal code to enable the authorities to take steps against paramilitary groups consisting of men who call themselves village guards.

The Slovenian news agency STA has reported that the government was asked "to table legislation that would allow law enforcement to prosecute paramilitary militias, which have recently sprung up and have started to patrol the border to keep illegal migrants out."

The Council also underscored that the activities of various groups that take over some of the roles of state agencies and law enforcement authorities "also causes a feeling of insecurity among citizens".

The Council suggests that the government should adopt a special strategy for countering terrorism and violent extremism.

The Stajerska Guard is active around Maribor, and recently Reuters has reported about their latest camping near the border with Croatia.

"Dressed in camouflage and armed with air rifles, Slovenian paramilitaries move in formation through woods a stone's throw from Croatia, patrolling a border zone where the group's leader says illegal migration is rife. The more than 50-strong group, some of whom mask their faces with balaclavas and which includes a handful of women, is led by Andrej Sisko, who also heads Gibanje Zedinjena Slovenija, a fringe nationalist party that has so far failed to win seats in parliament," Reuters reported two days ago.

These developments have caused alarm in Slovenia and in border areas in the neighbouring countries.

The Stajerska Guard, which was registered as an organisation in 2017, is believed to have over 100 members.

Upon the establishment of the guard, Sisko said that he would not allow the German scenario to happen in Slovenia, alluding to the influx of immigrants.

Last year, Sisko was sentenced to eight months in prison for threatening Slovenia's constitutional order.

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