Calais ‘Jungle’: Last remaining children evacuated from camp

Unaccompanied migrant minors on busImage copyright

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The first buses left at 08:30 local time

French authorities have begun moving 1,500 migrant children from the Calais “Jungle” camp, a week after demolition began.

Two buses carrying the first minors left the area at 08:30 local time (07:30 GMT).

The unaccompanied children will be taken to reception centres around the country.

They had been living in converted shipping containers, hoping to travel to the UK.

But the French authorities have now given them documents saying no further applications for transfer to the UK will be handled in Calais.

Their cases could now be investigated individually by UK officials once they have been transferred to reception centres in France, French President Francois Hollande told La Voix du Nord newspaper on Tuesday.

More on the Calais ‘Jungle’

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What next after the Jungle?

France and the UK have argued over where the migrant children should go, with France urging the UK to take in more.

The UK has so far taken in about 270 of the children who have relatives in the UK or are deemed particularly vulnerable.

The others will be looked after in France, Mr Hollande said.

The first of some 30 buses scheduled to leave Calais on Wednesday was headed to Carcassonne in south-western France, the second to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer near Montpellier in southern France.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said more than half of the children had left Calais during the morning and expected the operation to be over by the end of the day.

Media captionPeter Whittlesea watched as the last children were evacuated from the camp

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No-one will be allowed back into the dismantled camp, a staging post for irregular migrants fleeing war and poverty and trying to cross the Channel to the UK, Mr Hollande said.

The final shelters in Calais were destroyed on Monday after an operation to move some 7,000 people to centres elsewhere in France.

On Tuesday night riot police were called to the camp when fighting broke out between Eritrean Christian and Afghan Muslim teenagers.

Police said about 100 youths were involved. Dozens of Eritreans reportedly took sanctuary in a makeshift church.

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Calais ‘Jungle’: Last remaining children evacuated from camp

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