New British-French deal to fight “vile people smuggling“

New British-French deal to fight “vile people smuggling“
Migrants walk along a fence outside the Eurotunnel area, in Calais, northern France, in a Wednesday, July 29, 2015 file photo. (AP)
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Updated 12 July 2020

New British-French deal to fight “vile people smuggling“

New British-French deal to fight “vile people smuggling“
  • People smuggling across the Channel and migrant camps regularly spring up along France’s northern coast have proven to be an intractable problem for both govts

PARIS: France and Britain signed an agreement Sunday to share intelligence in their joint fight against the human traffickers who are illegally smuggling migrants across the English Channel.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the deal to set up a French-British intelligence unit would allow for better exchanges of information about smuggling networks.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel said the new unit “will crack down on gangs behind vile people smuggling.” Patel crossed the Channel to visit the northern French city of Calais to sign the deal with Darmanin. She described levels of illegal migration across the waterway as “unsustainable.” Crossing attempts have been surging.
“Despite all of the action taken by law enforcement to date — intercepting the boats, making arrests, returning people to France and putting the criminals responsible behind bars — the numbers continue to increase,” Patel said. “This simply cannot be allowed to go on.”
People smuggling across the Channel and migrant camps that regularly spring up along France’s northern coast have proven to be an intractable problem for both governments. Britain’s previously strong economy and need for farm and restaurant labor drew migrants from around the world who could speak some English. Calais over the years has unwillingly hosted rudimentary, overcrowded migrant camps that sprung up, slums so poor and violent that one was dubbed “the Jungle.”
The new unit will be staffed both by French and British officers and will exploit intelligence to help prevent crossings and dismantle smuggling gangs. Patel described it as “the start of a new operational approach.”
Darmanin said he pressed Patel for additional British help, including officers and equipment, to root out smugglers “who profit from the human misery of the people who want to cross the Channel and who are not punished enough.”
“It’s very important that our British friends realize that if the migrants come here in Calais, it’s not for the beauty of the city but it’s to cross the Channel,” he said. “The British government did a lot to protect the French coast, but we need more.”


Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital

Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital
Updated 16 January 2021

Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital

Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital
  • Two policemen were killed and one wounded
  • The two warring sides are currently in the Qatari capital Doha discussing the agenda items of the talks

KABUL: A roadside bomb targeting a police vehicle in the Afghan capital killed two policemen Saturday, officials said, as violence continues unabated in Afghanistan despite peace talks between the Taliban and government.
The vehicle carrying the policemen was struck by the bomb in the center of the capital on the road to the prestigious Kabul University, police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz said.
Two policemen were killed and one wounded, Faramarz said.
Violence has surged across the country in recent months, especially in Kabul which is also rocked by a new trend of targeted killings that has sown fear in the city.
The bloodshed comes even as the Taliban and government negotiators engage in peace talks to end the nearly two decade war in the country.
The two warring sides are currently in the Qatari capital Doha discussing the agenda items of the talks.