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French police block African immigrants trying to cross the border from Italy


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French police block African immigrants trying to cross the border from Italy

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A group of around a hundred migrants from Africa have been prevented from crossing from Italy in to France in the border town of Vintimille.

The migrants staged a sit-in on Saturday after around a dozen French police blocked their path.

The officers said they had received orders from the regional Alpes-Maritime prefecture not to let the migrants pass because they didn’t have any papers.

The prefect of the region, Adolphe Colrat, said he was only applying EU rules, but the protesters refused to turn back.

“We risked our lives crossing the Mediterranean. It was hard”, said one of the migrants. “This is nothing but we do need aid and there’s nothing, no humanity. We’re ready to cross the sea again. We’re ready to die.”

The Italian Red Cross have been handing out some food. The organisation said the
migrants had started to arrive on Thursday after traveling from the south of the country.

Some are reported as wanting to go to France, others to Switzerland, Germany and the UK.

A Red Cross spokesman said the Italian authorities had not yet made a decision on whether or not to establish a camp for the migrants in Vintimille.

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