Sunday 25 June 2017

Calais 'Jungle' finally cleared

Flames from makeshift shelters shoot up into the sky after a gas bottle explodes in the Jungle as refugees saw their hopes of resettling in Britain come to an end. Photo: Reuters
Flames from makeshift shelters shoot up into the sky after a gas bottle explodes in the Jungle as refugees saw their hopes of resettling in Britain come to an end. Photo: Reuters

Matthias Blamont Calais

French authorities have finished clearing the 'Jungle', a squalid shanty town built outside the port of Calais by thousands of migrants desperately seeking a passage to Britain, and are expected to disperse the last of its inhabitants around France within hours.

The operation mostly passed off peacefully, although some tents and shelters were torched in a last gesture of defiance as the refugees saw their hopes of a new life in Britain vanish.

"This is the end of the Jungle," Calais's regional prefect Fabienne Buccio said. "Mission accomplished."

Mr Buccio said about 5,000 migrants had gone through a processing centre before being transferred away by bus, and another 1,000 were still queuing there.

Local opposition to the camp, along with criticism from right-wing politicians, had stung the French government into action.

Migrants fleeing poverty and war in the Middle East, Asia and Africa came to Calais hoping to cross the short stretch of sea to Britain by trying to leap on trucks and trains, or even walk through the tunnel under the Channel.

Britain refused to accept the vast majority of them - apart from a number of unaccompanied child migrants now being processed separately.

Irish Independent

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