More than two hundred supporters of the Eritrean opposition were arrested in Germany after clashes with security forces in Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg), the police said on Sunday (September 17, 2023). Clashes broke out on Saturday evening when opposition supporters allegedly tried to break up a rally organized by Eritrean government supporters.
The almost 300 security forces deployed got into “massive violence” between the two groups, said Carsten Höfle, deputy police commissioner in Stuttgart. According to police, 32 people were injured in the clashes, including 26 officers, four government activists and two opposition supporters.
About 90 government supporters clashed with hundreds of opposition supporters who refused to go to the location designated by authorities for the protest, leading to the arrest of 228 people, Hofle said. The police were attacked with bats, nails, metal bars, bottles and stones.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser strongly condemned the riots and wished the injured police officers a speedy and full recovery. “Foreign conflicts should not be fought in our country,” he said today, adding that perpetrators of violence must be held accountable.
It is the second time in just a few months that clashes have broken out at an Eritrean event in Germany. In July, 26 officers were injured and more than 100 people were arrested at an Eritrean music festival in the city of Giessen. Similar unrest recently occurred in Israel, where many Eritrean refugees also live. Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and has since been ruled by Isaias Afwerki, an independence hero who established a one-party regime in which all opposition is harshly suppressed.