About 60 tenants have been driven out of their homes by illegal Nigerian migrants who have squatted buildings in the area and exhibited violent behavior, according to local reports.
The 60 tenants of a private residence in the 15th arrondissement of Marseille said that the English-speaking Nigerians slowly took up more and more property inside run-down buildings in the area, and eventually directly occupied some apartments of tenants, according to French media outlet RTL and newspaper Le Figaro.
A young woman called Melina explained that they took over her property while she was away for the weekend. Alerted by a neighbor, she rushed home only to discover that a number of Nigerians refused to come out of her apartment and forced her into the hall.
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Another 24-year-old, Zineb, explains that she cannot “stay in a place where there is no safety.” She decided to leave her apartment with her family.
The squatters are ultra-violent among themselves, with prostitution and drug dealing playing a major role. Different gangs regularly fight with machetes in the common areas and then flee into apartments in the area.
“When they fight among themselves, they knock on the apartments so that we open them and that they take refuge. Another clan wants to kill them, so they want to take refuge with us,” explains Nella, whose “little kids woke up in a panic, shocked.”
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The mother of the family did not open the door for them. In retaliation, his apartment was set on fire. She decided to flee, too.
In a tactic common in the Roma community, entire families sometimes squat an apartment or home, and it can take years to get them out, as similar cases in France have shown.