French authorities began clearing out ‘Jungle’ camp as refugees leave

Published October 26th, 2016 - 05:53 GMT
Officials expect the operation to become more difficult over the course of the week, after those who volunteered to leave are transported to accommodation centres and only those reluctant to give up on reaching Britain remain the camp. (AFP/File)
Officials expect the operation to become more difficult over the course of the week, after those who volunteered to leave are transported to accommodation centres and only those reluctant to give up on reaching Britain remain the camp. (AFP/File)

French crews began disassembling makeshift shelters Tuesday, removing tarpaulins and scrap materials that made up the so-called "Jungle" migrant camp near Calais.

On the second day of a week-long operation to remove the squalid camp and encourage migrants gathered near the port city to stay in France, hundreds of people boarded buses to leave Calais.

More than half of the official number of migrants at the camp had been sheltered by the end of the second day of the operation, the French Interior Ministry said.

Government and non-profit organization estimates put the number of people camped near Calais between 6,500 and 8,000. Many of the migrants, from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Afghanistan and other countries, hoped to cross the Channel and reach Britain.

Thirty-three buses transported 1,264 adults to 55 accommodation centres, the ministry said - one day after 1,918 adults and 400 unaccompanied minors were taken from the makeshift camp.

Since March, when France and Britain agreed to reunite unaccompanied minors with their families across the English Channel, some 300 have crossed over, the ministry added. The UN refugee agency UNHCR had said 100 of the transfers occurred since October 17.

Migrants lined up on Tuesday morning jostled with the police, but a prefecture spokesman said there were no injuries. There were also no violent confrontations with police overnight, ahead of the second day of the operation to dismantle the migrant camp.

Officials expect the operation to become more difficult over the course of the week, after those who volunteered to leave are transported to accommodation centres and only those reluctant to give up on reaching Britain remain the camp.

Cazenueve said that controls would be increased in the area to prevent new illegal camps being built on the French coastline.

By Christian Boehmer and Jessica Camille Aguirre


© 2019 dpa GmbH

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