CALAIS, France, Sept. 24 (UPI) — French President Francois Hollande called for authorities to shut down a refugee camp in the town of Calais and transfer refugees to other reception centers in the country.
During a visit to one of France’s 164 reception centers, Hollande urged that closing the “jungle” camp, which is viewed as a gateway to the United Kingdom, and relocating the refugees should be a priority.
“The most urgent task of the government is to remove the camp in Calais and provide shelter for refugees,” he said, according to Sputnik News.
The government had previously made repeated attempts to close the camp including dismantling the southern portion of the camp between February and March, but the total population recently increased to nearly 9,000 refugees halting plans of completely closing the camp, The Independent reported.
Hollande, who is set to make his first visit to the Calais camp on Monday, called conditions “unacceptable” for living.
“There should be no camp in France,” he said
Hollande stated that reception centers will hold 40 to 50 people for about four months as their cases are examined and migrants who do not seek asylum will be deported.
No timeframe has been set for the complete removal of the camp, but Hollande said refugees could be transported to reception centers within weeks.