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French president vows to shut down Calais migrant camp this year

Migrants run past burning tents in a makeshift camp near Calais, France, Monday Feb. 29, 2016. French authorities have begun dismantling part of the sprawling camp locally referred to as "the jungle" where thousands are hanging out, hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain. AP Photo/Jerome Delay

CALAIS, France – French President Francois Hollande says the migrant camp in Calais must be fully dismantled by the end of the year.

Hollande, who was visiting Calais on Monday for the first time since winning office in 2012, says the camp known as “the Jungle” is a “humanitarian emergency.”

Authorities say about 7,000 persons – aid groups say 10,000 – live in squalid conditions near the port of Calais hoping to get to Britain.

READ MORE: Fiery backlash as Calais migrant camp dismantled in France

Hollande said, “we must guarantee a durable and effective sealing of the French-British border,” insisting that British authorities must “take their part” in the effort.

The government announced plans in the summer to disperse Calais migrants into centres across France, where they will be able to apply for asylum. Hollande reaffirmed that plan on Saturday

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