France turns back aid convoy for Jungle camp

Published 19.06.2016 22:46
Updated 19.06.2016 22:47

France refused entry to a convoy of around 250 vehicles taking humanitarian aid to migrants in Calais's "Jungle" camp on Saturday, the group organizing the delivery said.

Cars, minibuses and trucks were held at Dover, in Kent, southeast England, after setting off from London. The convoy was turned back at a French border checkpoint in Dover, according to John Rees from the People's Assembly, an umbrella group of British charities. He said the vehicles would head to the French embassy in London to stage a protest. "We're going to dump some of the aid on the embassy steps and say 'You stopped us from delivering this, you deliver it'," Rees told The Guardian newspaper. Kent Police said they had been notified by the French authorities of the decision to refuse entry.

"No agency within the United Kingdom has any grounds to challenge this decision," the police said in a statement. "The refusal of entry to France is a matter for the French authorities." France 3 television quoted authorities in Calais as saying the convoy was banned because of the potential to generate "violent episodes" and the lack of available police officers because of the Euro 2016 football tournament. Calais witnessed lots of clashes between French riot police and migrants who protested living conditions in the shelters. The majority of migrants come from the Middle East and Africa. The turmoil in the Middle East and the five-year war in Syria have led many people to flee the conflicts in an attempt to seek security and shelter in more prosperous and peaceful countries such as those in Europe. The EU, however, has been slammed for lacking a collaborative response to the crisis.

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