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Hundreds to be moved as France to begin bulldozing 'The Jungle' migrant camp

Migrants have been offered new accommodation in containers.

Image: AP Photo/Jerome Delay

A FRENCH COURT yesterday gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the notorious “Jungle” camp in Calais as the mayor said the process would take place over the next three weeks.

Activists had appealed to the court to stop the evacuation of the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many of the migrants wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain.

But an official at the court in Lille said the decision to clear part of the Jungle had been “validated”.

Calais town authorities have promised that no one will be evacuated from the Jungle by force.

The mayor, Natacha Bouchart, said: “I am satisfied by this responsible decision which will allow the progressive dismantling of the southern part of the Jungle to proceed over the next three weeks.”

An official who asked not to be named said discussions would continue with migrants’ representatives to persuade the migrants to leave “so that they have a roof over their heads”.

PastedImage-6200 Source: AP Photo/Jerome Delay

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve welcomed the court’s decision, saying it backed up the authorities’ moves to clear part of the camp.

“The operation to put the refugees under protection will continue, using all of the existing accommodation solutions,” he said.

Local authorities say there are a total of 3,700 residents in the camp, and that between 800 and 1,000 will be affected by the eviction.

But charities say a recent census they conducted found at least 3,450 people living in the southern part of the Jungle alone, including 300 unaccompanied children.

The evicted migrants have been offered heated accommodation in refitted containers set up next door to the camp, but many are reluctant to move there because they lack any communal spaces and movement is restricted.

© – AFP 2016

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