A fiery blaze engulfing the Grande-Synthe #migrant camp outside of Dunkirk, France, in the northern region obliterated tiny wooden huts housing about 1,500 Muslim migrants on Monday. France, like much of Western Europe, is battling an influx of millions of refugees pouring in from war-torn Middle Eastern and North African countries like Syria, Morocco, and Iran. According to the regional chief, fast-spreading flames reduced the migrant camp to “a heap of ashes”. At least 10 people were injured in the blaze, according to the #Prefect Of France's Nord region.
Fight between Afghans and Kurds preceded fire
Reportedly, the fire was started after a fight broke out between Afghans and Kurds that left six men injured with knife wounds.
The latest chaos comes just as the #French presidential election dominates news stories as liberal and conservative candidates throw their own punches. The 2017 presidential election is slated for April 23. In France, one candidate must win by a majority or there will be a runoff election between the two top candidates on May 7th. Incumbent president François Hollande, who has consistently produced some of the lowest ratings in recent French history, will not seek a second term. Hollande, a self-described socialist, has overseen a sharp increase in the flow of migrants and evolution of a number of so-called no-go zones filled with male Muslims and others who are forming cultures within a culture on the outskirts of Paris and Calais where the population of slum camps like Grande-Synthe has swelled. In October the infamous “Jungle” migrant squalor about 25 miles away was leveled by authorities.
France overwhelmed by Muslim migrants
France is home to millions of Muslims, of whom a large majority, are recent migrants fleeing hot wars and oppression in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa.
Since 2005, France has experienced an uptick of terrorist activity, rioting in and around Paris and other major cities and a growing opposition among the French to open borders.
Regarding elections, Hollande is the first incumbent president of the Fifth Republic not to run for reelection. It is also the first election in France where nominees of both the main centre-left and centre-right parties were selected in open primaries. In all, 11 candidates are on the first round ballot. The presidential election will be followed by legislative elections on June 11 and 18 to determine the members of the National Assembly. Political pundits and analysts agree the tumultuous flood of migrants in recent years and the violence they have brought to the country will be a significant factor in the elections.
Migrants mass along French Coast en route to UK
Refugees commonly group along the northern coast of France where they steal trucks headed to the UK or pay to be smuggled into the country from across the English Channel by human traffickers.
Regarding Monday’s fire near Dunkirk, Michel Lalande, prefect of France's Nord region, told reporters, "It will be impossible to put the huts back where they were before."