DPADuring the riots between the Eritrean groups, 24 police officers were injured
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 22:04
Riots have broken out again in Germany at an event for Eritreans. This time things went wrong in Stuttgart, where about 200 Eritreans brawled with police officers and participants in the meeting. The groups attacked each other with stones, bottles and pieces of wood.
The riots broke out this afternoon. During the evening, when the situation had calmed down somewhat, the police announced that 24 officers had been injured. The names of about 170 Eritreans have been noted by the police.
The organization behind the event sympathizes with the Eritrean government, a brutal dictatorship that also oppresses Eritreans abroad. Opponents of the regime gathered in Stuttgart and attacked participants of the event.
Surprised by violence
In addition to local officers, federal police officers were also called in to restore peace. Officers dispersed the groups with batons and pepper spray. Residents of the city in southern Germany were asked to avoid the area.
The police say they are surprised by all the violence. “We knew there would be protests at such an event, but we did not anticipate the scale of the riots.”
Tensions among Eritrean refugees
Since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia about 30 years ago, President Afewerki has led the country. According to the United Nations, his government is violating human rights in an unprecedented manner. The UN says the regime is responsible for torture, sexual slavery, child labor and murder.
There have also been reports for years about intensive interference by the regime with Eritreans who have fled abroad. As a result, there have been tensions in the Netherlands among refugees from the country for some time. It has been known for some time that Eritreans in the Netherlands are forced to pay money to the military regime.
It is not the first time that things have gone wrong at an event for Eritreans in Germany. In July, 26 police officers were injured at an Eritrea festival in Giessen, Hesse. There too, the organization consisted of sympathizers of the regime. At the beginning of last month, riots broke out in the Swedish capital Stockholm for similar reasons.
In the Netherlands there were also riots recently at an Eritrean party. This happened in May in Rijswijk, where events have been organized for years and high-ranking representatives of the ruling party also regularly appear.