Rouen: A Camp of Fifty Migrants Evacuated

Neighbors of Grand'Mare in Rouen, behind what remains of the camp of migrants, yesterday

Fearing the installation of a migrant camp in Rouen, the prefecture has arrested fifty people yesterday morning. Some will be relocated, others deported.

All that was left of the Camp, yesterday morning a few bags, and neighbors who are struggling to understand.  “The migrants arrived Friday night”, said a resident of the nearest block of apartments.  “They were very discreet, polite, respectful. People who were bothering nobody. “

They slept on blankets, cartons, under the stars, and even playing with the neighborhood children.

Then, after the evacuation of the plain of Grand’Mare, a vast expanse of shady grass at the foot of the buildings in this popular area of Rouen, this is misunderstanding. “We are angry, we do not know what to do,” laments the twenty people still present on the spot, just hours after police arrested everyone around 9.45 pm.

“They surrounded the plain, and they arrested the men and women, including two pregnant women,” says another person. In total, this represents 46 migrants, according to the prefecture.

The group, whose members are from Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan, had already been expelled from the Boulevard des Belges, in the city center on Thursday night. They then moved to the forefront of Lacroix island, without a direct neighborhood area.

New intervention of the police, who escorted the men and women on foot, on Friday night, to the bridge. Had followed the installation along the Seine River, and the arrival on the plain of Grand’Mare.

“We never had this situation”

“I am working with this group for a week, says Zohra Amimi, of the Association of small hands for dignity, which works for a worthy reception of migrants in Rouen. And we sought a permanent solution with the Rouen Mayor’s office. But the prefecture refused to open an emergency shelter. We thought that here they would be welcomed. “

Jean-Marc Magda, chief of staff of the prefect, said the novelty of the situation: “We never had this situation. There is no question of letting them settle in a makeshift camp.”

According to the prefecture, it has already acquired ten people will be accommodated. Twenty-four other benefit of hotel nights the time to find them an alternative.

Some of these migrants could be renewed in the country where they made their first asylum application in accordance with the law. Some undocumented migrants be treated as such. “It’s a difficult solution”, says chief of staff, “with respect, humanity and rigor. “

He concedes that if the prefecture “can handle an exceptional situation, its repetition will be a problem.”

Yet Zorha Amimi believes, “we must prepare for the arrival of migrants in large cities. They leave Calais or Paris, where the situation is untenable … “

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