CALAIS, France — President Francois Hollande said Monday that France will shut down "The Jungle" migrant camp in Calais.
"The situation is unacceptable and everyone here knows it," Hollande said on a visit to the northern port city where as many as 10,000 migrants from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan live in squalor.
"We must dismantle the camp completely and definitively," he added.
France plans to relocate the migrants in small groups around the country but right-wing opponents of the Socialist leader are raising the heat ahead of the election in April, accusing him of mismanaging a problem.
The migrants want to enter Britain, but the government in London argues that migrants seeking asylum need to do so under European Union law in the country where they enter.
Immigration was one of the main drivers of Britain's vote this year to leave the European Union. It is also likely to be major factor in France's presidential election.
"I also want to restate my determination that the British authorities play their part in the humanitarian effort that France is undertaking and that they continue to do that in the future," Hollande said.
London and Paris have struck agreements on issues such as the recently begun construction of a giant wall on the approach road to Calais port in an attempt to try to stop migrants who attempt daily to board cargo trucks bound for Britain.
If France stopped trying to prevent migrants from entering Britain, Britain would ultimately find itself obliged to deal with the matter when asylum-seekers land on its shores a short distance by ferry or after crossing the Channel Tunnel by train.