Sunday, December 10

France begins to clear Calais migrants Jungle camp



More than 1,200 police and officials in France have begun an operation to clear the Jungle migrant camp in Calais. The camp has been housing at least 7,000 people in squalid conditions.

Migrants queued peacefully to be processed, and the first of some 60 coaches that will carry them to refugee centres across France have now left.

There is concern that some migrants will refuse to go because they still want to get to Britain and that weekend clashes with police could be repeated.

The dismantling of the camp is expected to start on Tuesday.

The UK has begun to accept some of the estimated 1,300 unaccompanied children from the camp.

The first group without family ties to the UK has arrived in Britain under the “Dubs amendment” rules, which grant refuge to the most vulnerable.

However, the Home Office said on Monday the transfer process had been paused during the demolition of the Jungle, at the request of the French.

The Jungle migrants are being placed into separate queues to determine who are in families, travelling alone or whether they are in vulnerable categories.

After processing they will leave for various parts of France and be given the opportunity to claim asylum. If they do not, they could face deportation.

Media captionOne migrant at the Calais camp tells the BBC: “I will not move one inch”

Media captionOvernight clashes in the final hours of the ‘Jungle’

There are 7,500 beds being made available in 450 centres across France.

The first coach left less than an hour after processing began – carrying 50 Sudanese to the Burgundy region, AFP reported.

By mid-morning there were long lines at the entrance to the registration centre. French officials said the operation was proceeding well, although Calais’ police commissioner said some migrants would have to return to the Jungle and try again on Tuesday.

Parts of the camp were emptying quickly, the BBC’s Gavin Lee reported. By 13:30 local time, 23 buses had left carrying 900 people. Officials have predicted that some 2,500 people will leave the camp on Monday.