World French police evacuates migrants from makeshift camp
Migrants camp overnight at Polish border after tense day
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish police posted video early Tuesday showing a group of migrants who had camped overnight just on the far side of Poland's eastern border in Belarus. Polish riot police and coils of razor wire faced the migrants and police said the situation overnight was calm. That followed a day of heavy tensions on the border, where a large group of migrants — hundreds if not thousands of people mostly from the Middle East and encouraged by Belarus — sought to push their way into Poland. © Provided by Associated Press Migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere gather at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.
GRANDE-SYNTHE, France (AP) — French police on Tuesday have evacuated migrants from a makeshift camp near Dunkirk, in northern France, where at least 1,500 people gathered in hopes of making it across the English Channel to Britain.
Migrants, including some families with young children, could be seen packing their few belongings as police were encircling the camp early Tuesday morning, on the site of a former industrial complex in Grande-Synthe, east of Dunkirk. Several buses were lined up near the camp.
EXPLAINER: What's behind the crisis at Belarus-Poland border
Thousands of migrants have flocked to Belarus' border with Poland, hoping to get to Western Europe, and many of them are now stranded at the frontier, setting up makeshift camps as Polish security forces watch them from behind a razor-wire fence and prevent them from entering the country. A look at what led to the standoff: WHAT IS BEHIND THE CRISIS? Belarus was rocked by months of massive protests following the August 2020 election that gave authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in office. The opposition and the West rejected the result as a sham.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal, speaking on France Inter radio, said “when we are dismantling a migrant camp, that's above all to put people into shelters, especially as winter comes."
Poland Closes Border Checkpoint as Tensions With Belarus Escalate Over Migration Policies
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has encouraged migrants to illegally enter bordering European Union nations. For months, thousands of migrants have attempted to illegally enter Poland, many getting stuck in a swampy forested area and pushed back and forth by Polish and Belarusian forces.According to Major Katarzyna Zdanowicz from the region's border guards, about 3,000-4,000 migrants were along the border, including 800 in the vicinity of a large makeshift camp.U.N.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and British Home Secretary Priti Patel said they had a phone call on Monday evening about the issue of small boats used by migrants to try to cross the Channel.
Patel tweeted that “we discussed a range of additional steps to tackle the problem and reiterated the importance of working together to make this deadly route unviable.”
Poland says Belarus is taking away migrants at border camp
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish government official said Wednesday that migrants who have spent days in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian side of Poland's eastern border are being taken away by bus by Belarusian officials. Since Nov. 8 a large group of people from the Middle East has been stuck at a border crossing with Poland, hoping to enter Europe. Most are fleeing conflict or hopelessness at home and aim to reach Germany or other western European countries. © Provided by Associated Press Migrants settle for the night in the logistics center in the checkpoint "Kuznitsa" at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.
“We are going to continue our operational cooperation and step up our common action against smugglers' networks,” Darmanin tweeted.
Darmanin also said that police dismantled a network of smugglers in the Dunkirk region, leading to 13 people being detained. According to Darmanin, 1,308 people suspected of being smugglers have been arrested since the beginning of the year.
Aid group Utopia 56 said several evacuations of camps in the region have been organized in the past month with no adapted response to take care of migrants. The group stressed that the state organized no food distribution and provided no toilet and shower facilities in the camps.
Local authorities have warned of dire sanitary conditions and overcrowding in the area, risks associated with the fast approaching winter and deepening tensions between migrants and traffickers that often turn violent.
Yann Manzi, founder of Utopia 56, said those clustered in Grande Synthe are primarily Iraqi Kurds propelled via trafficking networks. Most are trying to cross the English Channel in small inflatable boats, because police have made it harder to sneak onto trucks and ferries.
Belarus Border Camp Emptied, Hundreds of Migrants Flown Back to Iraq
Belarusian authorities said that as many as 7,000 migrants remain in the country after more than a week of tensions between it, the migrants and Poland.Belarusian media reported that no more migrants were seen in the makeshift camps. The migrants were either put on flights back to their home countries or allegedly placed in a heated warehouse to protect them from the cold weather.
With its ports and tunnel to cross the English Channel, northern France has always been a magnet for people seeking to cross to Britain, fueled by traffickers’ promises of a better life there. The crossings are a source of friction between the U.K. and France, with British officials saying France should do more to stop boats leaving. France, meanwhile, says Britain should do more to help French authorities manage the migrants and stop traffickers.
More than 23,000 people have reached the U.K. in small boats across the English Channel this year, including 1,185 on Thursday, a record for a single day. In addition, thousands more were rescued at sea by French maritime authorities.
Kurds, others converge in French camp, seeking to reach UK
PARIS (AP) — At least 1,500 migrants are living in tents on a muddy lot in northern France as growing numbers of people fleeing Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries seek to traverse the English Channel and reach the U.K., according to aid workers. In Grande-Synthe, a town east of the port city of Calais, the migrants - including some families with young children - have converged on the site of a former industrial complex. Local authorities have warned of dire sanitary conditions and overcrowding in the area, risks associated with the fast approaching winter and deepening tensions between migrants and traffickers that often turn violent.
Pregnant women, children among 27 dead in English Channel .
CALAIS, France (AP) — Children and pregnant women were among at least 27 migrants who died when their small boat sank in an attempted crossing of the English Channel, a French government official said Thursday. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also announced the arrest of a fifth suspected smuggler thought to have been involved in what was the deadliest migration tragedy to date on the dangerous sea lane. In their immediate response to the sinking, French authorities initially gave slightly differing figures on the numbers of dead, from at least 27 to 31. The figure that Darmanin used Thursday morning on RTL radio was 27.