Police clear two remaining large migrant camps in Paris

Nearly 1,000 refugees and migrants are evacuated from two camps in the French capital.

France Migrants
Last Wednesday police dismantled the Millennaire camp, home to about 1,000 migrants [File: Thibault Camus/The Associated Press]

French police have evacuated the last two large migrant camps in Paris, less than a week after they cleared out the bigger Millennaire camp in the capital.

Operations got under way on Monday morning at sites in Porte des Poissonniers and along the Canal Saint Martin.

In a statement, police said they had offered temporary shelter to 973 people residing in the camps.

The camps’ residents will be subject to a review of their “administrative situation” which will determine the type of accommodation they would be given, the statement said.

No incidents had taken place during the dismantling of the camp, police said.

French newspaper Le Figaro reported the operation had “started in calm”.

Yahye, a Sudanese man who had been sleeping by the Canal Saint Martin for two months, told the publication that whether he’d be taken to “a camp, a house, a stadium”, “it will be better than here”. 

Video on social media showed migrants loading belongings onto a bus before getting on as well as abandoned tents and air mattresses surrounded by litter.

Last Wednesday, police dismantled the Millennaire camp, home to about 1,000 migrants who were taken to accommodation centres around Paris.

More than half of people living there were Sudanese, 14 percent was Eritrean and seven percent was Somali, according to numbers by the French Office of Immigration and Integration.

That operation had passed calmly and without incidents, a statement by police said.

There had been growing concern about the camps. In May two migrants drowned in canals by encampments.

Le Figaro said Monday’s operation was the 36th one organised in the French capital in three years.

Europe has faced a migrant crisis since 2015. In that year alone, more than one million refugees and crisis reached Europe by sea. 

In 2016, thousands of migrants were cleared from France’s largest migrant camp, the “Jungle” in Calais. 

Source: Al Jazeera