Between Paris and London, an agreement against migrants

A group of people identified as migrants on November 27 in Dover, southern England.

After weeks of discussions, Paris and London confirmed, Saturday, November 28, a new Franco-British agreement to better fight against smugglers and prevent crossings of the Channel by migrants. Priti Patel, British Home Secretary, welcomed the “Doubly” French gendarmes and police officers patrolling the 150 kilometers of coast facing the United Kingdom. His counterpart, Gerald Darmanin, insisted on his side, in a press release, on “The additional financial investment of 31.4 million euros” consented by the British to “Support France’s major efforts against irregular crossings”.

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The money will also go to construction “Suitable accommodation” in France to shield migrants from smugglers, to purchase drones or surveillance cameras to better monitor beaches, and to secure ports and the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, where migrants regularly try to get on trucks ready for the crossing. On November 19, Mohamed Khamisse Zakaria, a young man from Sudan, was killed by a car on the A16 as he was fleeing police tear gas after trying to get into a truck.

” Ordinary people “

This summer, early Brexiter Priti Patel had toughened her tone after a historic rise in the number of Channel crossings by “Small boats”, for most inflatable boats. In August, thanks to good weather, 1,500 people made the crossing and, over the whole of 2020, around 8,000 migrants could have reached the coasts of Kent on the British side. Compare to the 1,835 passages recorded in 2019 by the Press Association agency.

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At the end of October, members of an Iranian family of Kurdish origin drowned (Rasoul Iran-Nejad, the father, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, his wife, and two of their children), in the Channel, one of the most dense in the world. This drama is added to many others: according to the Institute of Race Relations, a think tank, nearly 300 people lost their lives between the French and British coasts between 1999 and 2020. ” This agreement [franco-britannique] for more surveillance, drones and radars, brings to mind a country preparing for the arrival of enemies. But [les gens qui tentent le passage] are ordinary people, engineers, farmers with their families, not criminals ”, declared to Guardian Clare Moseley, founder of the humanitarian association Care4Calais.

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