French police dismantle migrant campsite near northern Paris

The crackdown in Aubervilliers comes amid rising pressure for the authorities to tackle irregular immigration.

    Many have moved to Paris since the closure of a huge migrant camp in Calais in 2016 [Christophe Archambault/AFP]
    Many have moved to Paris since the closure of a huge migrant camp in Calais in 2016 [Christophe Archambault/AFP]

    French police have dismantled a migrant campsite in Aubervilliers, northeast of Paris, amid rising pressure for the government to demonstrate a tough stance on irregular immigration.

    The local prefecture said on Twitter that more than 1,000 single men and 250 people in families had been removed in the operation on Wednesday.

    Newspaper Le Parisien reported that many of the migrants and refugees were of Afghan, Ethiopian, Sudanese or Chadian nationality.

    They were being brought to temporary shelters in gyms in the Paris region and would be tested for COVID-19 there as a precaution, the newspaper reported.

    A prominent advocate for refugees criticised authorities.

    "It is always useful to bring people to shelter. But this repetition since 2015 is absurd and unworthy," Pierre Henry, director-general of the charity France Terre d'Asile, said on Twitter.

    Many refugees and migrants have moved to Paris since the closure of a huge migrant camp in Calais in 2016.

    Authorities have repeatedly dismantled unauthorised campsites only for them to pop up again elsewhere within months, with police clearing a makeshift shelter that had emerged again in Calais this month.

    Many of the migrants and refugees have fled to France from North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, escaping countries blighted by wars and poverty.

    Migrant camp Aubervilliers
     The local prefecture said more than 1,250 people had been removed in the operation [Christophe Archambault/AFP]

    SOURCE: News agencies