“Jungle” Refugee Camp Demolition Ruling Put Off


A French judge has postponed her ruling on the demolition of half the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais.

Many refugees and migrants had refused to abide by an eviction notice for the southern part of the camp despite the 7pm GMT deadline.

A migrant walks among tents in a muddy field at a camp of makeshift shelters called the Grande Synthe jungle, near Calais

They now have a temporary reprieve, with Judge Valerie Quemener saying she will not make a decision until Wednesday or Thursday.

She told the hearing in Lille she had “a real problem” reconciling the conflicting estimates of people living in the shanty town.

Local authorities say between 800 and 1,000 will be evicted – but charities fighting the demolition put the number at 3,450, including 300 unaccompanied children.

The tribunal began hearing from 250 migrants on a day Belgium temporarily reinstated border controls to prevent an influx from the camp.

The French government says the eviction is necessary to improve living conditions for the migrants.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “We are in the process of evacuating methodically because we can”t accept the terrible conditions in which the migrants are living.”

The migrants have been offered heated accommodation in converted shipping containers next to the Jungle, or at centres dotted around France.

“I don”t have anywhere else to go,” said John, a 28-year-old Sudanese national.

“We don”t want to leave Calais because we don”t want to get further away from England, which is still our goal.”

Belgium”s decision to reintroduce border controls is another blow to Europe”s 26-country borderless zone.