AFP, August 22, 2006
Bamako — An association of Malian deportees Tuesday denounced last week’s forced eviction of hundreds of African immigrants from a squat outside Paris as an act of racism.
“It is again an act of racism by the French Minister of Interior Nicolas Sarkozy,” Ousmane Diarra, president of the Association of Malian Deportees, told AFP.
“We strongly condemn this barbaric act and ask the immediate re-housing of all the families,” said Diarra whose organisation was formed in 1996 after the mass expulsion of Africans without permits from Paris.
Putting the families “on the streets” would be playing “a dangerous extremist game”, he said.
Police on Thursday cleared 800 people,
most of them immigrants from the Ivory Coast and Mali, from a squat outside Paris that was one of the biggest in Europe.
Authorities have requisitioned 300 hotel rooms in the area to lodge the immigrants.
The operation at a university residency which the squatters occupied three years ago in the southern suburb of Cachan was prompted by the age of the building which authorities feared had become a fire hazard.