French police dismantle migrant camp, 1,800 people displaced

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Paris, Oct 23 (IANS) French authorities on Tuesday started to dismantle a makeshift migrant camp in the northeast of the country, forcing 1,800 people to evacuate the area.

The camp had formed in Grande Synthe, the largest suburb of the northeastern city of Dunkirk, where the so-called “Calais Jungle” migrant camp operated between January 2016 to October 2016, reports Efe news.

In a statement, the local government said it wanted to put an end to the large network of human traffickers operating in the region and that the closing of the camp was to target illegal activity.

It also said the displaced migrants would be offered alternative accommodation in line with basic human rights.

Migrants with the right to apply for asylum were encouraged to embark on the legal process, the statement added.

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The new Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, was set to visit the camp and meet police officers of Dunkirk later on Tuesday.

Since May, French authorities have dismantled six camps in Grande Synthe.

In recent years the region has been a crossroads for migrants looking to travel to the United Kingdom from mainland Europe.

Since the dismantling of the Calais Jungle, which housed between 6,000-8,000 people, makeshift camps have continued to emerge.

–IANS

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