Surveillance of the Italian border has been strengthened but it is difficult to make a country airtight.
For some exiles who arrived in Italy, reaching France is the final stage of a long journey. They travel miles, often at night, to avoid the police. Near the border, an Italian refuge is the only rest point. Every day, 150 people arrive here. The departure is from the Italian village of Claviere. This is the third attempt for a group of Guineans.
A long walk in the fog begins for them. It’s 5°C, and the only guide is a GPS. After three hours of walking, they saw the lights of Montgenèvre (Hautes-Alpes) in the distance. This is the riskiest passage due to the presence of French soldiers. Police officers and gendarmes patrol around the village, and are instructed not to let any migrants pass.
Some 260 were returned to Italy last week. But the border police were unable to intercept the group, which arrived in Briançon (Hautes-Alpes) after six hours of walking. Every day, around fifty people in this city, but a shelter had to close its doors. “We had 2,000 arrivals in August. Normally, this is the number of arrivals for six months”, remarks Jean Gaboriau, administrator of the Refuges solidaires association in Briançon (Hautes-Alpes). Many exiles will now seek asylum. “I’m going to Lyon [Rhône]and then I’m ready to work anywhere”confides a young man.