calais france migrants refugees migranti.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

French authorities are working to clear the southern part of a migrant camp near the port city of Calais, looking to complete an expulsion order affecting 800-1,000 people by Tuesday evening.

Local prefect Fabienne Buccio announced the planned clearance last week. An expulsion order released by the prefecture on Friday evening set the deadline by which the section of the camp should be evacuated.

Authorities hope to move migrants and potential asylum seekers - many of whom have been camped in slum-like conditions for months waiting for an opportunity to cross the English Channel and reach Britain - into more permanent accommodation centres.

A 1,500-spot provisional accommodation was opened in mid-January, and 1,200 migrants have moved in.

The prefecture that it would encourage migrants to move into that centre or some 500 additional spots in a "buffer zone," or to move into more permanent accommodations throughout France.

Disruptions to traffic along the highways, where people frequently attempt to jump into vehicles to cross the Channel, rising tension with extremist and anti-migrant movements, and a desire to retain security, hygiene and human dignity were the reasons the prefecture gave for the expulsion order.

There are, by last count, some 3,700 migrants and potential asylum seekers camped near Calais. Last year, Paris and London further secured the border to inhibit illegal crossings, installing barbed wire and deploying police to patrol the areas.

Latest news

Earthquake rocks buildings in northern Zambia; no injuries reported

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck Zambia and neighbouring countries early Friday, the US Geological Survey reported.

China overtook US, France as Germany's top trading partner in 2016

China overtook the United States as Germany's biggest trading partner in 2016, according to data provided by the Federal Statistics Office on Friday.

Orban upset by end of Budapest 2024 bid; IOC to ponder adjustments

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday reiterated his regret about the end of his nation's Olympic dream while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could further revise future bid campaigns in the wake of Budapest's withdrawal.

Italy seizes millions from dodgy Rome businessman

Italian police on Friday seized assets worth 40 million euros (42.4 million dollars) from a Rome businessman who falsely claimed residence in Dubai to dodge taxes.

UN, HRW workers in crosshairs as Israel cites bias, Hamas membership

The United Nations on Friday rejected Israeli claims that one of its aid workers in the Palestinian Territories is a "terrorist" who belongs to the radical Islamist Hamas movement.

Consulates deny telling teachers, parents to denounce Erdogan critics

Turkish consulates in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia on Friday dismissed allegations that they instructed teachers and parents to denounce critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Source: Le Pen defied police summons in assistants' pay enquiry

Marine Le Pen failed to appear for a summons for police questioning on Wednesday, a source close to the investigations has told dpa.

Iraqi forces claim key Mosul base, enter first western district

Iraqi forces seized a major military base from Islamic State on Friday and stormed the first district in the western section of Mosul, part of their campaign to dislodge the radical group from its last key Iraqi stronghold, a senior commander said.

BASF sales down 18 per cent due to Gazprom asset swap

German chemicals giant BASF said Friday that its revenues decreased by 18 per cent, to 57.6 billion euros (60.9 billion dollars), in 2016, due mainly to a multibillion-euro asset swap with Gazprom, Russia's state-backed gas group.

New Delhi shocked at reports of Indian national dead in US shooting

India was in shock and dismay Friday at the news of the death of an Indian engineer in an alleged racially motivated killing in the United States earlier this week.

42 killed in car bombing in Syria's al-Bab, monitor says

At least 42 people are dead after a car bombing in Syria's northern city of al-Bab on Friday, a day after Turkish-backed rebels seized control of the city from the Islamic State extremist militia, a monitoring group reported.

Car bombing kills at least eight soldiers in Yemen

At least eight government soldiers died in a Friday car bombing in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, a local security official said.