Days after dismantling the so-called “Jungle” in Calais, French police have cleared another migrant tent camp — this time in northeastern Paris, busing nearly 4,000 Afghans and Africans to temporary shelters.
Hundreds of young men waited in the cold and rain Friday morning, waiting to be bused out of the Stalingrad neighborhood of northeastern Paris.
Like everyone else here, 23-year old student Dawit Negash from Ethiopia has no idea of his final destination.
“We don’t know still — maybe in Paris, maybe outside Paris," he said. "I have to stay here. I hope to live here.”
Nearby, 30-year-old Mohammed stands with a group of friends. From Darfur, Sudan, he's been here for a month. He left his conflict-torn region because of what he calls “problems.”
Police stand in front of a line of buses, telling the migrants to sit down as they wait to be transported. Authorities are moving them to temporary shelters where those who want can apply for asylum.
Tent camps spring up regularly around the city, underscoring the enduring nature of the migrant crisis — not just in France, but across Europe. This one ballooned in recent days, with the arrival of hundreds of migrants from Calais.
Neighborhood associations have been giving the migrants food and teaching them some French.
One woman, Mireille, said it’s important to help the migrants until a local shelter opens up.
She joined other volunteers collecting the discarded tents for washing — certain that before long, more migrants will be arriving.