In the informal camp of Mardyck, in the North, on March 9, 2023. SAMEER AL-DOUMY / AFP
The police began Thursday morning May 4 to evacuate a migrant camp in Mardyck, in the North, which in recent weeks has welcomed a few hundred people, including two hundred who were still there on Wednesday, it was reported. learned from activists. The operation was confirmed by the prefecture.
According to Amélie Moyart, coordinator of the Utopia 56 association, the evacuation began around 7:30 a.m., and the large police force, including around twenty CRS vans and a security perimeter, did not allow the associations to access the area. Contacted, the prefecture confirmed the evacuation, which follows a court order.
“Only yesterday, two hundred people were surviving in this camp”, set up in December after a previous evacuation. “Last week, they were four hundred” and up to five hundred meals were distributed daily in February, noted Amélie Moyart.
The place is “neither equipped nor secure”
“It’s a large plain, which allowed people to have enough space, but in the open, closed between fences, canal and railway, away from everything because forty minutes from the first bus stop “, she lamented. The place was “neither equipped nor secure” and “no association mandated by the State intervened there”, but it was “the only one available”, she said.
According to a statement associations Utopia 56, Refugees Women Center and Doctors of the World, the camp was located “on private land belonging to the port of Dunkirk and the company Total”. They claim to have met “at least fifty families and eleven unaccompanied minors” there over the past seven days. “In just two years, the camp has been moved to three municipalities, from Grande-Synthe to Loon-Plage, and finally Mardyck”, they specified: these evacuations add “to their precariousness”, without resolving anything, according to them .
Indeed, “despite the extremely precarious conditions and the influence of networks” of smugglers, thousands of migrants continue to try everything to reach England. In 2022, around 46,000 people crossed the English Channel in small boats. Five died and four disappeared in these dangerous crossings, according to the count of the maritime prefecture.
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