01:53 GMT +306 December 2019
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    A border crossing between Croatia and Slovenia is seen in Trnovec, Croatia, May 26, 2016

    Slovenian Cabinet Backs Ban on Paramilitaries After Militia Patrols Border

    © REUTERS / Antonio Bronic
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    The Slovenian government on Tuesday approved legislation to ban paramilitary groups, which are semi-militarized forces that are not officially part of a country’s armed forces.

    Although the legislation has been approved by the Slovenian cabinet, it has not yet been passed by parliament. If approved, the measure would ban civilians from using “masks, uniforms or objects that resemble weapons in such a way as to give the impression they are state or army officials,” Reuters reported. Those who break the law could be fined between $550 and $2,200.

    The decision comes after a group of about 50 people carrying rifles and wearing camouflage uniforms started patrolling the border between Slovenia and Croatia about two weeks ago.

    The paramilitary group was urged to patrol the area by Andrej Sisko, a politician who leads the fringe national party Gibanje Zedinjena Slovenija, Reuters reported. According to Sisko, the area needed patrolling due to an alleged migrant threat.

    Anti-immigrant sentiment in Slovenia has grown since 2015 due to the increase in migrants seeking safety in the country. According to Slovenian police, the number of migrants who illegally entered Slovenia from Croatia during the first 10 months of 2019 was more than 14,000, compared to 8,186 during the equivalent time period in 2018.

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    paramilitary unit, Militia, Slovenia
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