French University Cancels Classes After Campus Becomes Migrant Camp

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

A French university suspended all classes “until further notice” Monday after a group of about 40 migrants set up tents on the campus.

At least 8,000 students at the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne (URCA) in northeastern France were affected by the move, newspaper Le Figaro reports. URCA President Guillaume Gellé said classes would remain canceled until “conditions of security have been re-established.”

“I demand security for all concerned,” Gellé said in a statement. “You can see in this camp there are children and minors.”

Unef, France’s main student union, backed the measure and asked authorities to move the families to a different location.

“We call on the local authorities, the mayor of Reims and the district to urgently house these families,” Unef said, according to The Local.

The migrants had already been asked to leave a different makeshift camp in a local park. Similar camps have appeared across the country since the “Jungle” in Calais was demolished last November.

In Paris alone, more than 34 mass evacuations have been carried out since the migrant crisis broke out in the summer of 2015.

“These illegal camps present a security and public health risk for both the occupants and local residents,” the Paris police prefect’s office said in a statement after an evacuation in May, according to Reuters.

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