Fires scorch ‘Jun­gle’ mi­grant camp as de­mo­li­tion re­sumes

The Myanmar Times - - World -

FIRES cut through a swathe of the Calais “Jun­gle” yes­ter­day, send­ing mi­grants flee­ing as French au­thor­i­ties pre­pared to ramp up de­mo­li­tion of the no­to­ri­ous camp.

The blaze spread just hours after work­ers pro­tected by po­lice moved in to clear the squalid camp that has been home to an es­ti­mated 6000-8000 mi­grants, many with hopes of reach­ing Bri­tain.

A lo­cal of­fi­cial down­played the blazes, telling AFP, “It’s a tra­di­tion among com­mu­ni­ties who set fire to their homes be­fore leav­ing.”

Work­ers in hard hats and or­ange over­alls used power saws to re­duce shacks to piles of wood and plas­tic that were re­moved by dig­gers.

Mat­tresses, blan­kets, clothes, pots and suit­cases left be­hind by mi­grants were also carted away.

Lo­cated next to the port of Calais, the “Jun­gle” has for years been a launch­pad for mi­grants at­tempt­ing to make it to Bri­tain by sneak­ing onto lor­ries or jump­ing onto trains head­ing across the Chan­nel.

As part of the camp’s clear­ance, 3242 adults have been trans­ferred to cen­tres around France since Oc­to­ber 24 and 772 un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors have been moved to ship­ping con­tain­ers con­verted into tem­po­rary shel­ters in the “Jun­gle”. the in­te­rior min­istry said.

The num­bers rep­re­sent around half the camp’s es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion be­fore the op­er­a­tion be­gan, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures. –

Photo: AFP

A po­lice of­fi­cer stands guard as mi­grants from the “Jun­gle” camp in Calais queue for trans­porta­tion by bus to cen­tres across France dur­ing the full evac­u­a­tion of the no­to­ri­ous camp yes­ter­day.

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