Police swoop on Paris migrant camp after Calais Jungle clearout
Updated: 2016-11-01 09:31
An Afghani migrant reacts as French Police pushed them back after they were asked to remove their makeshift camp from a sidewalk during a paper control operation in Paris, France, 31 October 2016. [Photo/IC]
In a letter sent to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo requested that the camp be shut rapidly on humanitarian and sanitary grounds.
City Hall officials say the numbers sleeping rough in the area have swollen by about a third since the evacuation last week of the Jungle camp in Calais, where more than 6,000 people were living, most of them in the hope of making it across the short Channel sea crossing to Britain.
The Calais camp, where demolition teams finished tearing down unoccupied shacks and tents on Monday, came to symbolize Europe's fraught efforts to cope with a record influx of migrants fleeing strife in countries from Afghanistan to Sudan.
President Francois Hollande urged Britain at the weekend to shoulder its responsibility for some of the 1,500 minors housed temporarily in converted shipping containers in Calais following the clearout.
An Interior Ministry official said talks were continuing with Britain, which is obliged under EU rules to take in minors with verified family ties in Britain.
"It's up to Britain now to fully live up to its duty, that's not finished yet," added Pascal Brice, head of France's refugee agency, Ofpra.
The rest of the 6,000-plus inhabitants of the Jungle have been dispatched to lodgings across France, pending examination of their asylum cases. Cazeneuve says around 85 percent of all migrants evacuated from Calais will likely secure refugee status.