Hollande to Visit Calais amid ‘Jungle’ Migrant Row

Paris, – French President Francois Hollande is due to visit the port of Calais, days after setting out his plans to close the “Jungle” migrant camp there.

Hollande will meet police, port officials and politicians but is not expected to visit the camp itself, the (BBC) reported. He has said he intends to close the sprawling camp and move migrants to reception centers across France.

Hollande has faced criticism over conditions in Calais, which he acknowledged were “unacceptable”. During his visit on Monday, he is also due to inaugurate an extension of the Calais port.

Up to 9,000 migrants live in the Jungle amid squalid conditions, many of them hoping to illegally enter the UK by hiding on lorries crossing the English Channel. A UK-funded wall 1km (0.6 miles) long is being built along the main road to the port in a bid to deter would-be stowaways.

Half the Jungle camp was dismantled earlier this year and with immigration set to be a key issue in next year’s French presidential election, Hollande is keen to close the rest. Speaking on Saturday, Hollande promised to “completely dismantle” the Jungle and set up “reception and orientation centers” to take in asylum-seekers.

People can apply for asylum in France and those who are unsuccessful will be deported. “We will provide a humane, dignified welcome to people who will file for the right of asylum,” he said.

Source: Qatar News Agency