Running battles between African mobs, riot police with tear gas, a teenage girl
killed chasing a truck to get to Britain... Just another day on the Calais front
Their faces covered, a gang of Ethiopian youths marches towards
a rival camp in Calais brandishing sticks and rocks.
As they come into sight, a group of Eritreans arm themselves and
rush out to defend their territory.
But French riot police are on the scene within minutes. After
firing tear gas from behind their shields they manage to drive
the groups apart.
Yesterday’s clash was over almost as soon as it started – but it
will happen again today. And tomorrow.
Eritreans and Ethiopians fighting over various routes into the
ferry port appeared to be the principal reason for the fights, a
police spokesman said.
It is thought that rows with people-smugglers who charge up to
£1,000 cash for passage to Britain have also contributed to the
Yesterday, one Ethiopian man, who asked not to be named, said
that Eritrean people smugglers were charging money for access to
coveted areas for sneaking aboard lorries.
‘They are trying to charge us 500 euro (£395) to get on a lorry
and they will not let us wait in the good areas where the
lorries are parked,’ he said. ‘It is not fair that one group of
people get access and another don’t. They cannot keep it to