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‘Where will they go?’ - Volunteers on Greece’s Lesbos fight to keep migrant camp open

Volunteers are fighting to keep a migrant camp open on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Volunteers are fighting to keep a migrant camp open on the Greek island of Lesbos. © France 24 screengrab
Text by: Mayssa AWAD | James ANDRE | Erika OLAVARRIA
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5 min

Pipka camp is a safe haven for the most vulnerable migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos. Nonetheless, Greece has announced its intention to close Pipka along with a second camp on the island, in order to regroup the migrants and calm rising tensions among the local population. FRANCE 24's James Andre reports.

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Founded by local NGO Lesvos Solidarity in 2012, Pipka camp accomodates a little more than 100 people. Marjane, a Iranian migrant and asylum seeker, arrived there with her husband and son two months ago. She had a broken hand after being violently assaulted in Moria, a larger migrant camp on Lesbos that burned down on September 8.

"They want to close here, and I'm very worried, and very sad for it," Marjane told FRANCE 24. 

Carmen Dupont, a Lesvos Solidarity volunteer who is campaigning to keep Pikpa open, described some of the camp's residents. "We have 21 unaccompanied children here now," she said. "We have a single mother who just arrived yesterday from the new camp with her newborn baby and small child. We have people with disabilities. We have people with very serious medical conditions. Where will they go?"  

Greece wants to close Pipka and a second camp on Lesbos in order to regroup all the migrants in one place in a bid to placate the local population, whose mood has soured after five years as a hotspot in Europe's refugee crisis. 

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