Fears of further clashes at Calais 'Jungle' migrant camp as evacuation looms
October 24, 2016
The camp known as the jungle ABC Australia
French authorities will begin a week-long operation to dismantle the so-called “Jungle” migrant camp in the northern port city of Calais on Monday, amid fears of further clashes between police and the sites inhabitants.
The operation to dismantle the infamous camp will be a long one.
Police have estimated the “Jungle’s” population at 6,400 migrants, while aid groups have put the number at 8,100.
French authorities were expected on Sunday to officially inform migrants at the “Jungle” of the camp’s imminent evacuation. The interior ministry has warned that the dismantlement could set off further clashes at the camp, after violence erupted overnight on Wednesday as the camp’s uncertain future became clear.
Furthermore, volunteers on the ground Saturday voiced fears that, less than 48 hours before the evacuations were due to begin, migrants had not been given enough information about the operation.
“There are many migrants who aren’t aware that the camp is going to be razed in the coming days,” Gaël, who works with volunteer group Utopia 56 (who declined to give his last name), told FRANCE 24. “Information has been slow getting to us about how the camp is going to be dismantled.”
Samuel Hanyron, a spokesman for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières or MSF), echoed Gäel’s comments.
“It’s true that [the government] has been slow getting the information out,” Hanyron told FRANCE 24 on Saturday. “But today, there is an increasing number of migrants who are aware that their departure is imminent. This morning, I saw people carrying suitcases.”
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