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(France3) Calais: renewed tensions between Sudanese and Eritrean migrants

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Sunday, 01 December 2019

Calais: renewed tensions between Sudanese and Eritrean migrants

Migrant camp in Calais in the Dunes area.  / © FRANCE 3Migrant camp in Calais in the Dunes area. / © FRANCE 3

A hundred migrants are currently camping in the Dunes area, in a wood between the port of Calais and residential areas. Since Thursday, major brawls have broken out between Sudanese and Eritrean communities. A struggle of territory to find a place to settle and sleep. 

There were fights, the police arrived on time, it was a relief when they arrived, " says a migrant. " We always have a problem finding a place, " says another. " There is no security  , here is the law of the jungle. "

Migrant camp in Calais - 26/11/2019 / © DENIS CHARLET / AFPMigrant camp in Calais - 26/11/2019 / © DENIS CHARLET / AFP

"The places where they have the opportunity to live are shrinking"

In this area of ​​the city, police evictions are daily. Every morning, these exiles have to move their tents but return tirelessly once the police forces have left. A game of cat and mouse that deplore the associations that help migrants in Calais. They denounce a pressure put on by the authorities.

The places where (exiles)  have the opportunity to live are shrinking," says Hugo Diehl, of Human Rights Observer. " So they are always looking for a new place to live, that can be an explanation . "

Around the Dunes area, where migrants are concentrated, space is shrinking. The city council is planning a major dismantling operation for the end of the year. In the meantime, she is laying one kilometer of fence to prevent the return of encampments. " Imagine if nothing was done ", justifies Philippe Mignonet, deputy mayor of Calais LR, Natacha Bouchart, in charge of security. " It's not about limiting the number of migrants, it's about making it clear that Calais is not a place of destination ." 

This gradual closure of the Dunes area could lead migrants to move to other areas of the city.

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