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France Closes Calais File by Moving the Camp’s 'Residents' to 451 Centers - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Calais- The French authorities kicked off Monday an operation to evacuate the massive Calais camp in the north of the country from refugees who were moved by buses to around 451 centers.

Around 1250 policemen and cops were deployed to make sure the operation is conducted safely and without any clashes.

But on Monday, the dreams of thousands of refugees, who lived in the “jungle” camp, had evaporated.

Most of the migrants and refugees who traveled to Calais hoped to reach the British shores.

In Paris, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the operation is expected to last for 5 days.

“This is an operation we want to be peaceful and under control. So far it is,” Cazeneuve said.

The French government asserts that the Calais operation was “humanitarian.” France expects to evacuate the camp established 18 months ago to host refugees mostly Afghans, Sudanese and Eritreans wishing to reach Britain.

Last week, Britain has received around 200 unaccompanied minors who lived in the Calais camp under an amendment endorsed last May to allow unaccompanied minor refugees enter the country.

There are around 6,000 to 8,000 people living in the “jungle,” including 1,300 minors.

According to Le Touquet agreement signed between France and Britain, British officials should receive minor refugees who can prove they have a relative living in the UK.

Around 500 minors, with relatives in the UK, are expected to be moved to Britain.

“Bye-bye, Jungle!” one group of refugees shouted before being moved out of the camp. Refugees were worried because they had no idea where they were to be taken after Calais.

Pascal Brice, the director of Ofpra, which handles asylum requests in France, said the asylum requests of most refugees would be accepted.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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