Days after clashes in which migrants and guards were shot and stabbed, France announced that the rapidly growing camp near the port of Dunkirk must be dismantled “as soon as possible”.
Speaking of security concerns and “unacceptable” behaviour by migrants living at the ‘Grande-Synthe’ camp, Bruno Le Roux said France “cannot let things go on like this”.
“The question is no longer today about merely restoring public order. It is about the progressive dismantling of the camp, which must begin as soon as possible”, he said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a Senate committee, the minister also made mention of “unacceptable” behaviour by migrants who prevent other residents at the camp from using its facilities such as showers, demanding “ransoms” and money for their use.
Mr Le Roux also highlighted rising violence at the site, which has seen regular clashes in recent weeks, including on Friday when two people were shot and two stabbed
The camp’s population has more than doubled since the destruction of the ‘jungle’ camp at Calais in October, and is now thought to be holding around 1,500 migrants who are hoping to break into Britain.
Noting that migrant flows are continuing to arrive at the site, the minister warned that the camp, which was built by pro-mass migration, Soros-funded NGO Doctors Without Borders, had become “itself a factor” in drawing migrants who want to illegally cross to the UK.
The Telegraph reports that the Interior Minister’s announcement came as a surprise to Dunkirk mayor Damien Carème, who pushed for the camp to be built to meet international humanitarian standards.
“This camp is more necessary than ever as if there is one today, it’s because the humanitarian response wasn’t sufficient.”
“There is no solution. If we’ve reached 1,500 people in the camp, it’s because there aren’t enough places in welcome and orientation centres. It’s plain to see we have played an indispensable role and I don’t see how to stop this role”, the Green politician said.
In February, the head of Britain’s Immigration Services union told the BBC that huge holes in Britain’s border controls act as an incentive to people traffickers, because the majority of migrants are allowed to stay if they “get on the back of a lorry and get to the UK”.
Lucy Moreton also revealed lack of resources means that migrants found to have entered the country illegally are often told to make their own way to a processing centre more than 50 miles away, and that authorities “have no way of knowing” who newcomers really are.