CALAIS, France (Reuters) – Police forces dismantled a makeshift shelter camp in the northern French port of Calais on Friday, removing hundreds of migrants in one of the biggest operations of its kind in the last several months.
Since the easing of the coronavirus lockdown and the reopening of the borders within the European Union, migrants have begun to flock to Calais again, hoping to reach Britain via the Channel Tunnel.
On Friday, some 519 people living in the camp were taken by bus to various reception centres. Another 20 people deemed to have irregular immigration status were arrested and taken to detention centres, local authorities said in a statement.
The dismantling started at around 5 a.m. and was over by noon. Authorities said it went calmly.
According to a charities helping refugees, there are about 1,200 migrants in Calais, mainly of Sudanese, Eritrean, Afghan and Iranian origin.
Since the dismantling of the huge “Calais Jungle” in 2016, where up to 9,000 people lived, migrants are now scattered in several camps, most on the outskirts of Calais.
(Reporting by Pascal Rossignol; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Frances Kerry)