French police evict hundreds of migrants from makeshift camp near Dunkirk

TMP – 28/09/2017

Earlier this month, French police stormed a makeshift migrant camp near Dunkirk and evicted some 557 people, including many children.
Hundreds of migrants, mainly from the Middle East and Afghanistan, were living in wooden shelters in the camp.

A day before, French police evicted around 85 Eritrean migrants from a camp in the Norrent-Fontes area that is under the control of smugglers, a statement by the Pas-de-Calais local authority said.

During the operation in the Grande-Synthe area near Dunkirk, some 60 migrant children were evicted from the temporary camp. The migrants had been living there after another camp that housed 1,500 people burned down in a fire in April of this year.

During the eight-hour clearing operation, in which 16 people were arrested, journalists and aid groups were prohibited from entering the camp.
The majority of the evicted migrants are from Afghanistan and Iraq, but Iranian, Pakistani and Sudanese nationals were also among them.

According to aid groups in the region, migrants are expected to return to the area, despite the poor living conditions.

Damien Careme, the mayor of Grande-Synthe, stressed the need for an official camp to be opened in the region in order to provide migrants with basic living conditions.

However, after a meeting with Mr. Careme in Paris on Monday 18 September, French interior minister Gerard Collomb refused the opening of an official camp.