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‘Escalating Violence’ in Calais After Clashes Between 100 African Migrants

Police officers and emergency workers intervene after clashes between migrants involving Eritreans and Ethiopians in Calais, on July 1, 2017.
BERNARD BARRON/AFP/Getty

Authorities have described “escalating violence” in the transit city of Calais, France, following two days of fighting when over 100 Eritrean and Ethiopian migrants clashed, attacking one another with stones and sticks leaving over a dozen hospitalised.

Le Figaro reports that following clashes late Friday evening, a second mass brawl broke out between groups of Eritrean and Ethiopian migrants who have travelled illegally from Africa in hopes of smuggling themselves to the UK.

According to Philippe Mignonet, deputy mayor of Calais in charge of security, police intervened Friday night attending to four separate brawls, using tear gas to disperse the Africans.

“For 12 hours, in terms of violence, it’s an escalation,” Mr. Mignonet said.

Clashes broke out again between the ethnic groups Saturday afternoon in the industrial zone of the city leaving 16 injured, one seriously. A dozen men, mainly Eritreans, were arrested, and police and ambulance personnel attended the scene.

It is believed the violence began whilst an NGO was giving out meals. Rules on the distribution of food, water, and the setting up of makeshift shelters are heavily enforced to prevent charities and camps acting as a draw to migrants, preventing another Calais Jungle springing up in the beleaguered town.

The Rue des Verrotières is the only street on which the pro-migrant charities can distribute food to the illegal immigrants, and it was between 8 pm Friday and 1 am Saturday that the first fights broke out.

Last Monday, the administrative court of Lille ordered a summary of measures to assist illegal migrants in Calais, but rejected the re-opening of a reception centre.

“The events of the last twelve hours show that the mayor is right to appeal [the decision of the administrative justice]. The authorisation to give meals all day long creates situations where masses of people are assembled and this leads to tensions,” said Mr. Mignonet.

The number of illegals waiting at the Calais Jungle surged to 10,000 migrants after the Brexit vote in June 2016, supported by pro-migrant NGOs such as Care4Calais, until the camp was dismantled by French authorities in October. However, as early as February 2017, there were reports of migrants returning to the city.

Between 400 and 600 mostly Eritrean and Ethiopian, and some Afghan, migrants are currently waiting in Calais, attempting daily to secret themselves onto lorries bound for Britain.

In June, Breitbart London reported on the first death of a lorry driver at the hands of migrants after a group of Eritreans blocked the road to the channel port with tree trunks, resulting in a multi-truck pileup and the death of a Polish truck driver.

Prior to the fatality, British and European truckers feared for their lives and have complained of migrants obstructing roads and attempting to break into the trucks. One driver was threatened by a migrant with a chainsaw and another narrowly escaped death when a migrant threw a large wooden stake into his cab window.

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