Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



African migrants removed from the streets of Paris ahead 100 days to Olympics

A migrant walks along in a makeshift migrants settlement in the La Chapelle neighborhood on the city's northern edge, in Paris, France, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Francois Mori/AP


French police on Wednesday removed dozens of migrants, including families with young children, from the forecourt of Paris City Hall as the capital prepared to mark 100 days until the start of the Olympic Games.

Police arrived at dawn to remove about 50 people, mostly women and children aged 3 to 10, who were bundled up in strollers, under blankets or covered with plastic sheets to shield against the rain.

The migrants packed their belongings and boarded a bus to temporary government housing in the town of Besançon in eastern France.

Aid workers have expressed concern that the move on Wednesday is the beginning of a broader effort by Paris authorities to clear out migrants and others sleeping rough in the capital before the Olympic Games without providing longer-term housing options.

Olympics organizers have said they are working with aid groups to find solutions.

Many of the families are from French-speaking African countries, including Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Senegal.

Aid groups such as Utopia 56, have distributed food, blankets and diapers and helped some of them find temporary lodging for a night or two.