French police are shutting down temporary refugee camps in central Paris that sprung up after the dismantling of the Calais camp, forcing more than 3,000 people to move from the makeshift tent cities in a pre-daw operation on Friday.
Around 600 police took part in the operation just before 6 a.m. local time to remove the refugees, which authorities say ran smoothly and peacefully. The makeshift camp near the Stalingrad metro station along the Saint-Martin Canal, was holding many from war-ravaged countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea and Sudan.
After tents were taken down and people gathered up, thousands lined up for buses which would move them to refugee reception centers around Paris and were told that they could then make requests for asylums.
Those forced to move said they were given little information from authorities and were concerned about where they would be sent after boarding the buses. The encampment, located in a politically progressive part of the city, has already been cleared a number of times recently.
Many refugees who had been sleeping in rough and cold conditions, had come to Paris after being forced to move on from the “Jungle” camp in Calais along the English Channel, where thousands were left stranded attempting to get to the United Kingdom.
In October, under the instruction of President Francois Hollande, French authorities began evacuating the Jungle camp in order to relocate groups of migrants and refugees around the country. Conservative voices in France have blamed much of the refugee problem on other European countries, particularly the U.K.
Europe has been experiencing the biggest migrant crisis since World War II, with hundreds of thousands fleeing desperate situations in Africa and the Middle East for better, and seemingly safer opportunities in Europe. Many have died making the treacherous journey to Europe, and tens of thousands remain displaced around Europe.
So far, 2016 has become the deadliest year on record for refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, the United Nations has said. Last year, more than 1 million people reached Europe via the Mediterranean, but crossings so far this year remain below 330,000.