Refugee camp demolition resumes in Calais

After partially demolishing refugee camp in Calais additional French refugee camps will be opened by NGO along coast

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A man stands next to an Algerian and a Palestinian flag among dwellings set up at the refugee camp known as the "Jungle" in Calais on Dec 7, 2015. [AFP]

A second week of demolition continues in Calais, the port city between France and England, while a French NGO will construct new refugee camps along the coast.

Some children wanted to offer white roses to riot police sending back refugees and volunteers while workers continued to dismantle temporary shelters at the Calais camp in northern France.

On the other hand, Grande-Synthe, a town 40 kilometres away on the coast, was preparing to build France’s first refugee camp on Monday even though official authorities resisted that initiative.  

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) had established medium size refugee camps consisting of 200 to 275 cabins to host almost 1500 people. That camp aimed at housing refugees fleeing from the demolition in Calais.

The camp also has proper showers and toilets.

Many refugees coming from Iraq have faced very difficult conditions at Grande-Synthe for months, even worse than the refugees in Calais.

A migrant stands next to a banner in the port city of Calais, northern France, during a demonstration to support the migrants and refugees who live in refugee camp. [AFP]

The local mayor has endeavoured to obtain the right to construct the new camp despite French government’s wishes.  

Protesting the demolition decision of Calais refugee camp, nine Iranians had sewed their mouths up last week and expressed on Monday that they were staging a hunger strike.  

Calais refugee camp had been partially destroyed last week, and authorities claimed that it could take months to demolish the southern half of the camp.   

Local authorities say there were between 800 and 1,000 refugees living in the southern half, while aid groups say there were around 3,500.

The refugees are desperate to reach Britain, where many have family or community ties and see a better chance of gaining employment and education.

Most have rejected offers from the French government to move into heated containers alongside the Jungle, or into accommodation centres elsewhere in France, fearing doing so would end their dreams of reaching Britain.

TRTWorld and agencies