FRENCH POLICE CLOSED THE LAST REFUGEE CAMP IN PARIS


05/02/2020




İrem UZUN -TDO- French police on Tuesday cleared the last migrant tent camp in northeast Paris, moving 427 people to shelters as part of a plan to take migrants off the streets. The migrants, who included four women, were living in 266 tents and makeshift shelters in a canal-side camp "strewn with waste and refuse, overrun by rats and giving off a pestilent and foul-smelling urine and excrement", according to the authorities.

The operation to tear down the camp began at 6am local time and lasted for two hours. French authorities have been engaged in a push to remove camps from the city. One containing 1,400 migrants, including 93 children, based nearby was cleared last week while a second containing 1,600 people at La Chapelle was removed just weeks before. Dozens of informal settlements have sprung up around the French capital in recent years, erected by desperate migrants from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia with their sights on the northern French port of Calais, a jump-off point for crossings to Britain via the Channel.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had promised to clear all migrant camps from the city by the end of last year, in part by opening more shelters for asylum seekers but also by deporting those whose claims are rejected. Police are being deployed to ensure migrants do not return to the razed camps or set up new ones. "We are not going to resume a never- ending cycle of evacuations followed by new installations," Paris police Chief Didier Lallement said last week. President Emmanuel Macron said last year that France must end its "lax" approach to immigration.


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