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French court upholds partial evacuation of Calais 'Jungle' camp

© Philippe Huguen / AFP | Migrants in the 'jungle' refugee camp in Calais.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-02-25

A French court on Thursday gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the notorious "Jungle" camp in Calais.

A court official said the Lille Administrative Court ruled on Thursday that French authorities can evict migrants from their tents and lean-tos in the densely populated southern portion of the camp - but cannot entirely raze it. Common spaces such as schools and places of worship must be kept in place.

"The order is applicable, except for common social areas," the spokesman for the Pas-de-Calais prefect's office said.

An official deadline for at least 1,000 migrants to leave the southern part of the so-called "jungle" camp expired on Tuesday.

The authorities have said they will use force if necessary to move them to alternative accommodation in a nearby container park and other reception centres.

Activists working in the slumlike camp had asked the court to stop the evacuation of the southern half of the "Jungle", with many of the migrants wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain.

Calais town authorities said that no-one would be evacuated from the "Jungle" by force.

"We are going to continue the work undertaken with the [migrants'] associations to persuade the migrants to leave, so that they have a roof over their heads," an official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2016-02-25

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