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Calais 2016. Photo supplied

Calais: Residents overwhelmed by new migrant camps

The dismantling of a camp was postponed in the city after the migrants got wind of the project.

Published: September 11, 2019, 12:08 pm

    Calais

    The tents of migrants are back in Calais. According to information from regional daily La Voix du Nord, a dismantling operation was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, September 10 or Wednesday, 11.

    But it will no longer happen, because the migrants got wind of the large-scale operation and deserted the area before any operation. However, for the residents of the rue des Huttes in Calais or those of the Gravelines road, this departure of migrants will only be temporary.

    They fear that they have left to come back later. Above all, their presence is always a problem. “The migrants throw their garbage anywhere and that brings us rats,” says one of them interviewed by La Voix du Nord. Nuisance, dirt, but also insecurity, were denounced by other residents. “They play football at night in the middle of the road” and light fires in green spaces. “If they do not control them, it’s very dangerous,” one man said.

    For many, the fear of a return of the “Jungle” is in everyone’s minds, and a dismantling would not solve all the problems, a resident said. “Those who left during the last dismantling returned soon after. We should offer them a hard center, like Sangatte in the past, and here, fence off all the wooded areas.”

    According to another resident living on the other side of the ring road, the same place where the “Jungle” was installed between 2015 and 2016 (which had welcomed 8 000 migrants), the “wild” settlements are back. “It’s gone as before,” said a man while another remarks: “We also regularly see smugglers parked in front of us, with vehicles with English license plates.”

    An eviction order has been affixed to the streets concerned. In particular it mentions that the migrant occupation “undermines the site”. If the tents reappear, they will be taken down. In 20 years, occupations and dismantlements have continued in the neighbourhood.

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