Violent clashes erupted overnight in the Calais jungle as 1,200 French police began the process of relocating the camp's 8,000 migrant residents to 450 separate facilities across France. The plan calls for a mass evacuation to be conducted on Monday and Tuesday with heavy machinery expected to be sent in Tuesday afternoon to clear any remaining debris and officially demolish the camp. That said, many of the migrants chose not to leave peacefully launching rocks at French police and setting fires to property adjacent to the camp.
French authorities have arranged for migrants to be transported to over 450 facilities across the country where housing will be provided and they will be given the opportunity to claim asylum. According to BBC, 2,500 people are expected to leave the camp on Monday with the remainder expected to depart on Tuesday.
The Jungle migrants are being placed into separate queues to determine who are in families, travelling alone or whether they are in vulnerable categories.
After processing they will leave for various parts of France and be given the opportunity to claim asylum. If they do not, they could face deportation.
There are 7,500 beds being made available in 450 centres across France.
By mid-morning there were long lines at the entrance to the registration centre. French officials said the operation was proceeding well, although Calais' police commissioner said some migrants would have to return to the Jungle and try again on Tuesday.
Parts of the camp were emptying quickly, the BBC's Gavin Lee reported. By 13:30 local time, 23 buses had left carrying 900 people. Officials have predicted that some 2,500 people will leave the camp on Monday.
Heavy machinery is expected to be sent in on Tuesday to clear any remnants of the camp left behind by migrants while those who choose not to leave voluntarily will be forcibly removed.
From Tuesday, heavy machinery will be sent to clear the tents and shelters that have been left behind. The whole operation is expected to take three days.
The French interior ministry said it "does not want to use force but if there are migrants who refuse to leave, or NGOs who cause trouble, the police might be forced to intervene".
Below is a live feed of the current evacuation efforts.
For those not as familiar with the situation, the "Jungle" camp, near the port of Calais in Northern France, has become home to ~8,000 migrants as Europe has struggled to deal with the flow of refugees from Northern Africa and the Middle East. The camp has drawn a lot of criticism from nearby French citizens as a haven for violence and crime. Tensions climaxed last month when French farmers, truckers and police all united to block the Calais port while calling on President Hollande to announce specific plans for the demolition of the "Jungle" camp.
Of course, camps like these have grown as Europe has struggled to accommodate several hundred thousand migrants flowing in from Northern Africa and the Middle East.