Police in the French city of Calais were forced to use tear gas to disperse an unruly crowd of migrant refugees that had stormed a motorway in an attempt to reach the UK. Fearing the closure of Calais’ so-called “Jungle” refugee camp, the crowd of roughly 200 people violently clashed with police as they swarmed to board a number of vehicles headed northwards.
Refugees housed at the camp have long used disruptive tactics in an effort to reach Britain. They have been known to place impromptu barricades in the middle of roadways to force vehicles to stop so that they can stowaway en masse.
Such disruptions have proven dangerous to the safety of both motorists and refugees. One migrant from Eritrea was killed on Sunday while trying to slow down oncoming traffic, while several motorists have reported getting surrounded by crowds of dozens of refugees along major thoroughfares.
An estimated 10,000 people are currently housed at the notorious Jungle camp, where living conditions are poor and tensions are high. While some of its occupants are legitimately seeking asylum in France, authorities have been unable to determine how many refugees are simply biding time until they can escape to the UK.
There are also concerns that the dismantling of the Jungle camp will simply cause refugees to recreate another similar shelter elsewhere in the country, which has left the French government scrambling for a more permanent solution to the migrant crisis.