The branch of Aix-Marseille University, located not far from the Old Port in the center of Marseille and whose temporary closure was announced on Wednesday October 4 due to insecurity problems linked to drug trafficking, will ultimately remain open with the permanent presence of police, the university said Thursday.

“The faculty council decided this morning, through a vote, to keep the Colbert site open,” the establishment announced in a press release explaining that “rapid and strong measures were announced” at the end of a meeting with the police headquarters and the town hall on Wednesday. These measures, effective now, consist in particular of “a permanent presence of national police personnel on the site in order to secure it at its various points and access points”, she specified.

On Wednesday, the president of the University of Aix-Marseille, Eric Berton, announced in a letter the closure, from Friday evening until October 13, of this branch of the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Aix-Marseille, as well as the switch to distance learning. “It is for the staff, for the teachers, for our community, to denounce the unsanitary and unsafe conditions around the faculty,” explained the dean of the faculty of economics and management, Bruno Decreuse . Some 1,500 students, 170 teachers and dozens of administrative staff attend this branch of the university located in Belsunce, a poor neighborhood in the center of Marseille.

The University of Aix-Marseille reiterated “its commitment to being present in the heart of Marseille (…) to fully ensure its public service missions”. A port city marked by strong inequalities, Marseille has been affected by drug trafficking for decades. But the level of violence for the control of drug sales outlets is increasing, as in other cities in France.