Armed Migrants In Renewed Calais Violence
June 13th, 2017. \\ Human Rights. \\ Tags: UK, France.

Violent and desperate gangs of migrants have once again started setting up burning road blocks in Calais to halt lorries heading to the UK so they can attempt to climb aboard and hitch a ride.

After France dismantled the Jungle camp in the northern town last year it was hoped migrants would disperse across the country.

However, they are now reported by French authorities to be streaming towards Calais to try and make their way to Britain and tensions are now starting to boil over.

There are reports of migrants placing burning trees across roads Iand waving clubs at truck drivers, as they try to board the UK-bound lorries.

The Calais migrant camp was razed to the ground in October meaning some 10,000 refugees waiting to get into Britain were moved across France.

They have now started moving back towards the north coast in an attempt to launch a fresh bid to reach the UK in the warmer summer months.

With the uncertainty of Brexit and with the French government going though a transitional period under Emmanuel Macron, the border could be seen as a soft target by people traffickers and refugees.

At the end of May a French official warned of a fresh surge of migrants in Calais trying to get into the UK just six months after the notorious Jungle camp was closed.

President of the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France Xavier Bertrand wrote to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to say a summer swell is imminent.

It was expected to bring with it a wave of violence, and prompted British truckers to call for increased protection in Calais following the first serious attacks by migrants since the demolition of the refugee camp.

The warning wasn’t acted upon, and a couple of days later UK-bound migrants set fire to an improvised barricade in the middle of a busy motorway near Calais.

Migrants tried to use the obstruction on the A16 at Marck to force lorries heading to England to stop so they could climb aboard and the tactic has been repeated, as a series of ‘extremely violent’ incidents last Sunday shows.

‘They set up roadblocks using dustbins, and then tried to stop lorries heading for England so they could get aboard,’ said a police source.

Two windscreens were smashed, while another lorry had its tyres punctured. One driver was taken to hospital with face injuries.’

Pauline Bastidon, of the Freight Transport Association, said: ‘There is a need for urgent action by the French government to ensure that the area is policed adequately, and to protect drivers transporting goods, so that trade can continue to flow freely between France and the UK.’

Under international law, refugees are obliged to claim asylum in the first ‘safe’ country they arrive in. It would would appear however that England, with its generous welfare system, is the country of first choice for migrants, and that France has no desire to accept them anyway.

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