France to evict 1,000 refugees from 'Jungle' camp

Official says people must leave because the makeshift camp in Calais and its conditions are not "dignified".

    France to evict 1,000 refugees from 'Jungle' camp
    Refugees in the Calais camp have repeatedly faced threats and attacks [Etienne Laurent/EPA]

    About 1,000 refugees living in the "Jungle" camp in Calais must leave their makeshift dwellings, because their living there is undignified, an official in France's northern Pas-de-Calais region announced. 

    Inside Story: Crisis in Calais

    "It's time to tell the migrants of Calais who live in undignified conditions and give Calais an image that isn't dignified either, that we have a solution for each of you," said Fabienne Buccio said on Friday.

    Buccio said her agents will explain to refugees "what we expect" of them - to choose to live in heated containers set up last month on the edge of the camp that can hold 1,500 people, or agree to be sent to centres around France.

    They will be given a week to make the choice.

    Authorities will visit on Monday to advise those affected that they must leave.

    READ MORE: Life in 'the Jungle'

    The prefecture estimates there are about 3,700 people currently in the camp - lower than the more than 4,000 estimated by aid groups.

    There were some 6,000 people at the camp just months ago, but the prefecture has made a gradual effort to reduce the numbers. Buccio has suggested only 2,000 people can remain in Calais.

    Refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn and poverty-ridden countries make their way to northern France in hopes of making it across the English Channel to Britain via ferry, the Eurotunnel train or trucks.

    The camp on the edge of Calais now has shops, mosques, churches and schools built by refugees and volunteers.

    Incidents involving refugees and the police have surged since last October when security near the Channel Tunnel was reinforced to prevent anybody from entering the Eurotunnel infrastructure.

    On January 23, some 200 refugees managed to break into the port of Calais, enabling some of them to board the front deck of a British ferry, after a demonstration of support for refugees.

     Child refugees stranded in French city of Calais

    SOURCE: AP And Reuters


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