Syrian refugees in France’s ‘jungle’ refugee camp said that they fear long-term separation from their family members, as they set Calais camp on fire in protest against continuing to dismantle the settlement by the French government.
About 40 Syrians are holding out in Calais, where around 10,000 people are from the Middle East, Africa and southern Asia.
Reported by Al Jazeera, they were weighing up their options but primary objective remained joining immediate family across the English channel.
“We haven’t changed our plans,” said Yamin from the Syrian capital Damascus.
“We have families in England. My wife is in England too. The French government is giving us just one month in the refugee centres and after that we don’t know what it’ll do. We still have the same issues, we have to go to England but how, we don’t know.”
Mohamed Khalid, 40, from city of Aleppo, expressed intentions to reunite with his wife and four children, who were now in England.
“I don’t want to stay in France because I have no one here,” Khalid said. “The French government is giving me a month to think about claiming asylum in France but I only want to go to my family.”
It has been reported that France began its eviction of the ‘jungle’ on Monday and transferred thousands of its occupants to reception centres across the country.
The refugees seems very confused, as one Independent aid worker named Naeem Akhtar said many of the refugees had little idea on what to do next.
“The refugees are confused. Some say they want to go back to Syria while some say they are going to take asylum in France,” Akhtar said.
“A young Syrian, who couldn’t make it [to the UK], said he would rather go back to Syria than take asylum anywhere else but England.”
The Calais camp housed between 500 to 1,000 Syrians. Many of them reached UK, some moved to other unofficial settlements, or have claimed asylum in France.