‘Jungle’ camp closure to start Monday: France

Paris, Oct 22 (IANS) French authorities will begin dismantling the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp, home to about 7,000 people, in the port of Calais from Monday (October 24) morning, government officials have announced.

According to the Interior Ministry on Friday, minors will be taken to the camp’s converted shipping containers during the dismantling of the rest of the Jungle, the BBC reported.

The migrants who currently live in the containers – which were being used as temporary accommodation instead of makeshift tents – will be evacuated to make room for the minors.

There are 7,500 beds available in centres across France for the migrants. Some 60 buses will be used to remove them from the camp, the ministry noted.

However, officials have expressed concern over crowds rushing to leave the camp during the first stage of the operation.

From Tuesday, heavy machinery will be sent to clear the tents and shelters that have been left behind.

The ministry added that police forces “might be forced to intervene” if faced with resistance.

Several children from the camp are expected to be relocated to the UK.

The Jungle has played host migrants, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, who have attempted to board lorries bound for the UK, clashing with drivers and police in the process.

A UK-funded 1 km wall is being built along the main road to the port in an attempt to deter would-be stowaways.

Work on the wall, which began last week, is due to be finished by the end of the year.