Sunday, April 15, 2007

Refugees flee France

Many hundreds of asylum seekers from all over the world are collecting in and around Calais and the small French town of Sangatte. They have travelled thousand of miles form Asia, the Middle-East and sub-Saharan Africa having each saved up several years wages to pay for their flight from civil war and genocide and each of them has the same aim. They want to get out of France.

“Yes, I escaped from Darfur, from the war and the killing.” said Salva al-Mahdi. “I travelled through Libya, a perilous crossing to Corsica and then finally through France. I cannot stay, it is terrible here.”

His feelings were echoed by many. All of whom dream of escaping the horrors of France and making their way across the Channel to the UK.

“I was tortured for 6 years in a Yemeni jail,” said Abdallah Mujawar. “But it was nothing like this. I dream of escaping France and getting to Britain.”

The French authorities are said to be embarrassed by the situation developing on the Brittany coast as thousands of illegal migrants - men, women and children who own only what they can carry and have suffered the most severe privations imaginable - risk life and limb to get away from French culture and society.

“They risk everything, hiding in lorries, trying to sneak aboard moving trains in the Channel Tunnel,” explained Jean-Claude Facturations-Valeer from the French Interior Ministry. “They just don’t seem to want to stay. We have baguettes, horsemeat, snails and every so often we aren‘t rude. I don‘t understand it.”

“I remember when I last talked to my wife, she is making her way to me here soon,” said a tearful Mr al-Mahdi. “What possessions we had were destroyed in fire. Our little place, it wasn’t much, was ransacked by looters. My daughter had been raped and my brother was killed late at night during a riot.” he said. “I asked her what we could do. She said it was my fault that we had come to Paris in the first place. We must escape.”

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