Police evict thousands of migrants from Paris sidewalks

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 18.08.2017 21:22

French police moved out around 2,000 migrants from a makeshift camp in an area north of Paris on Friday, the 35th evacuation operation in two years in the capital.

The district is one of the main destinations for migrants and refugees once they arrive in the French capital. A similar roundup of the mostly Afghan and African migrants around the Porte de la Chapelle area in July saw 2,800 moved from the streets into temporary accommodation.

The new centrist government under President Emmanuel Macron has promised improved procedures and new resources for genuine asylum seekers, but has warned it will take a tougher line on economic migrants.

Paris police prefecture said the migrants -- mostly from Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries -- would be relocated across 18 sites around the Ile-de-France region. Hundreds of police took part in the operation. Aid workers were also present."It's a new operation because everyone will undergo an administrative check and will then be sorted based on their situation," said a senior Paris police officer, Yann Drouet.

Shortly after daybreak, around 30 buses were brought in to move out the migrants, many of whom were ready waiting with small backpacks. "It's hard, really hard, especially when it rains and at night when it's cold," said Rachid, a migrant in his twenties from Sudan who said he had been sleeping rough for 21 days.

Since the dismantling of the Calais "Jungle" camp in October, Paris has become the new transit area for large numbers of migrants and refugees seeking asylum.

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