(AFP) – President Francois Hollande on Saturday hailed this week’s evacuation of the squalid Calais “Jungle” as a success as he vowed France would not accept the emergence of any more makeshift migrant camps.
“There were no incidents from start to finish,” Hollande said of the evacuation of the Jungle camp during a visit to a reception centre for migrants in Doue-la-Fontaine in western France.
“We had to rise to the challenge of the refugee issue. We could not tolerate the camp and we will not tolerate any others,” he added.
The Jungle camp, which people fleeing war and poverty have used for years as a springboard for attempts to sneak into Britain, was mostly evacuated in a major operation this week that saw thousands of people bused to reception centres across France.
During the evacuation, huge fires erupted, ravaging large swathes of the camp that has become a stark symbol of Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War II.
Since mid-October, Britain has taken in 274 children from the Jungle, mostly unaccompanied youngsters with relatives already living in the country.
Britain’s Help Refugees charity estimated that as of late Friday there remained over 1,000 unaccompanied children still living in the container camp.