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Paris Police Evict Migrants Near River Seine Ahead Of Olympics

A migrant packs his belongings in a makeshift camp, early Tuesday, April 23, 2024 in Paris. French police officers have evicted migrants from a makeshift camp in Paris a few steps away from the Seine

French police conducted an operation to evict migrants from a makeshift camp in Paris located near the River Seine. The operation targeted around 30 teenage boys and young men from West Africa, most of whom were underage and in the process of seeking residency papers. The evictions took place before dawn on a cold April morning, sparking fear and uncertainty among the affected individuals.

The recent eviction is part of a series of actions that aid groups have labeled as 'social cleansing' in preparation for the upcoming Summer Olympics. This operation follows a large-scale eviction at France's largest squatter camp in a suburb south of Paris. Typically, such evictions occur after the winter 'truce,' during which authorities pause such actions.

Aid groups working with migrants in the Paris region have expressed concern over the intensification of these efforts ahead of the Olympics. They argue that individuals are being relocated far from the capital instead of being provided shelter locally, especially as many asylum-seekers have pending court dates in Paris.

Evictions part of 'social cleansing' before Summer Olympics.
Operation targeted 30 West African teenage boys seeking residency papers.
Concern over migrants being relocated far from Paris.
Authorities cited security reasons for the eviction near schools.
Young men offered housing in Besançon, many declined.
Traoré refused relocation due to pending court date in Paris.

Authorities cited security reasons for the eviction, particularly due to the camp's proximity to schools. In response, authorities offered to relocate the young men to Besançon, 400 kilometers southeast of Paris, providing housing for three weeks. However, many individuals declined the offer, fearing isolation and uncertainty once the three-week period ends.

One of the affected individuals, Traoré, refused to travel to Besançon as he awaits a court date in Paris in two days. This situation highlights the challenges faced by migrants and asylum-seekers in navigating the complex legal and social landscape in France.

The operation underscores the ongoing tensions surrounding migration policies in France, with concerns raised about the treatment and support provided to vulnerable populations. As the situation continues to evolve, advocacy groups and volunteers remain committed to supporting those affected by these evictions and ensuring their rights are upheld.

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