French mayor behind gutted migrant camp vows it will return

A migrant camp close to the Channel port of Dunkirk, in north-east France, which housed about 1,500 people in wooden sheltered accommodation, was razed to the ground in a huge blaze on Monday that was started during fighting between groups of Iraqi Kurds and Afghans. The events have further fuelled anti-immigrant rhetoric from candidates campaigning in the French presidential elections, and placed in question the outgoing socialist government’s already reluctant support for the site. But, as Carine Fouteau reports, the local mayor behind the creation of the camp, which opened only last year, has pledged to rebuild it.

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The huge blaze overnight Monday that destroyed much of the camp housing around 1,500 migrants at Grande-Synthe, near the port of Dunkirk in north-east France, has not only left its inhabitants homeless and distressed, but it has also appalled those who had successfully battled against the authorities and political opponents to establish France’s first migrant camp built to international standards.

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