France will close migrant camp near Dunkirk

(Image from a camp in Grande Synthe, near Dunkirk)

TMP – 05/04/2017

French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux has announced that the migrant camp near the northern French port of Dunkirk will be closed as a “progressive dismantling of the camp” is imminent

The migrant population at the Grande-Synthe camp has doubled from around 700 to about 1,500 since the closure of the Calais camp nicknamed “The Jungle” in October last year..

In Dunkirk there have been increased reports of violence, rape and sexual assault with two people shot and another two stabbed in recent months. On 14 March, riot police clashed with around 200 migrants who set fire to a barricade designed to prevent entry the camp.

Le Roux told a Senate hearing: “The question is no longer today about merely restoring public order. It is about the progressive dismantling of the camp, which must begin as soon as possible. We cannot let things go on like this.”

Mr Le Roux explained that the camps were being controlled by some migrants who “restrict access” to facilities such as showers and demand “ransoms” and “loans” for their use.

He went on to conclude that the camp was attracting more migrants to the area.

Many more migrants are reportedly sleeping in woods near the demolished Calais Jungle camp. The town’s mayor has recently issued a decree banning food handouts to migrants in a bid to deter people.