June 9, 2018

FRANCE: French Police Began On Monday To Clear Out Two Illegal Refugee Camp Sites In Paris After Similar Operation Last Week At Another Location. Approximately 2,700 People Have Been Relocated.

The Local, France
written by Staff
Monday June 4, 2018

Police cleared out two more makeshift Paris migrant camps early on Monday morning, including 800 people who had been living in squalid conditions along the Canal Saint-Martin in the 10th arrondissement.

The operation began at 6.30 am at Canal Saint-Martin in the 10th arrondissement of Paris where some 800 migrants, mostly Afghans, have been living for several months.

The police also evacuated a camp of around 300-400 migrants at Porte de la Chapelle (18th arrondissement).

The Paris police said that the migrants would first be sheltered before a "thorough examination of their situation was carried out by the authorities."

The St Martin Canal is near the site of a sprawling former camp by the Stalingrad Metro stop, which was cleared only to spring up again several times last year.

This is the second operation of its kind to happen in just a few days, with the biggest migrant camp in the French capital evacuated last Wednesday.

This was known as the "Millenaire" or Millennium camp and was home to around 1,700 mainly Sudanese, Somali and Eritrean migrants.

The migrants were to be housed temporarily at more than 20 sites across the Paris region while the authorities checked their identities, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a statement.

The Local reported the announcement on May 24th from France's Interior Ministry that thousands of migrants living in camps along stretches of canal in Paris were set to be moved out "quickly" in the 35th evacuation to have taken place in the French capital since summer 2015.

Around 2,300 migrants have been living in makeshift camps along the canals in the north east of the French capital for months.

The Interior Ministry asked the Paris police to step in to evacuate the camps, saying that Paris City Hall had "regrettably" failed to "request the evacuation of the public area" themselves.

Today the camps pose "humanitarian issues" that "are no longer bearable for Parisians," Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb said, stressing that "the role of the City of Paris will be essential in the preparation of this operation because if the camps are reconstructed" it will have been "useless".

France24 News
written by Staff, AP, Reuters
Monday June 4, 2018

French police began on Monday to clear out two illegal refugee camp sites in Paris, following a similar operation last week, in the government’s latest attempt to deal with a migrant influx that France has been facing for the past three years.

A statement from the Paris police department said authorities were in the process of clearing out two illegal refugee campsites at the Porte des Poissonniers in the city's 18th arrondissement, in northeast Paris, and another site next to the city’s popular Canal Saint Martin in the 10th arrondissement. A total of around 1,000 people are thought to live in the camps in squalid conditions.

The migrants are being bussed out to shelters in and around Paris, where they will stay briefly while their administrative situation is examined.

At the Porte des Poissoniers, refugees are mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, some of whom made dangerous trips across the Mediterranean or across the Alps. The Canal Saint-Martin camp houses mostly Afghans who have been refused asylum elsewhere in Europe.

Last week, authorities cleared out around 1,000 migrants from the larger “Millenaire” camp, also in northeast Paris. Those migrants were subsequently taken to various accommodation centres around the capital.

Europe has faced a migrant crisis since 2015 following wars in Libya and Syria. More than 1 million people from Africa and the Middle East, as well as many from Afghanistan, have tried to reach the continent via Turkey or by sea.

In France, much of the migrant influx ended up in the northern port of Calais, where a giant slum was cleared by the authorities in late 2016. Most of the rest have gathered in Paris and the southeast near the Franco-Italian border.

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