Correspondent in Paris
Six hundred immigrants and refugees, Africans and Afghans, have set up an emergency camp in front of the Prefecture of the region France’s Island, west of Paris, asking for help and urgent asylum.
It is the first “wild” camp that has appeared in France, after the fall of Afghanistan, when Europe fears a “massive” and “uncontrolled” arrival of some 500,000 refugees.
The six hundred men, women and children, very numerous, have had the logistical support of various humanitarian organizations, “Utopia 56”, “Requisitions” and “Right to a shelter”, which provided tents and food.
During the last decade, Paris has seen successive waves of refugee camps, always temporarily, which were not always peacefully dismantled.
After the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, France and other countries such as Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden waited for the arrival of new immigrants and refugees, following routes that were not always well known.
First substantive debate
The first camp installed in front of the Prefecture of the Ile-de-France region has provoked a deep and deep debate. The mayor of the XV arrondissement of Paris has requested the immediate intervention of the Gendarmerie, to dismantle a camp reported as “savage.” In addition, the mayor’s office of the capital is looking for a way to negotiate with humanitarian organizations. Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior has adopted a provisional waiting time, so as not to aggravate the crisis with an expeditious police intervention.
In the camp, Afghans, Malians, Moroccans and refugees of a dozen nationalities coexist in a tense calm. Among the women, there are quite a few pious Muslim women, covered with various forms of Islamic veils. Among the men, the majority are young men with athletic appearance, who wish to present demands for the status of political refugees.
A spokesman for the organization ‘Utopia 56’ has commented to ABC: “We are negotiating with several bands. The mayor of Paris wants to find a humanitarian solution. We expect that solution to arrive in a matter of days. We don’t want to think about a police eviction. There are many women and many children. We have installed ourselves before the official headquarters of the Prefecture of the Isle of France region asking for their protection, in some way, “he concluded.