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France orders Calais 'jungle' camp to be cleared, migrants await their fate

The camp, which dates back to April 2015, is a key departure point for Britian where they belive they have a better chance of finding work. Photograph: (AFP)

Calais, France Oct 22, 2016, 12.00 AM (IST)

Marking a difficult chapter in Europe's migrant crisis, French authorities on Friday said the "jungle" migrant camp on the northern coast will be demolished from Monday. The local administration announced the "legal order" on the long-awaited operation in Calais. 

The administration said the residents of the makeshift camp will be taken to nearly 300 temporary accommodation centres dotted around France, while their cases are considered. "The aim is to give everyone a roof over their heads and we will do everything we can to make that happen," one official said.

On Sunday, officials and charity workers will pass through the settlement of shacks and tents to inform residents that they will have to leave. Local residents and businesses had for months called for the camp to be razed. 

The camp, which dates back to April 2015, is a key departure point for Britian where they believe they have a better chance of finding work. It housed more than 10,000 migrants at the peak of the migrant crisis, maily refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea. 

British authorities are allowing those with family links in Britain to settle in the UK. But the camp has strained ties between France and the UK with leaders like Alain Juppe, the frontrunner to win the right-wing nomination for next year's French presidential election, saying that Britain should conduct its evaluations of the migrants on its own soil, not in France.

But even when the "Jungle" is cleared away, some wonder whether another camp will simply spring up elsewhere.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
 

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