Status: 29.11.2023, 15:34 PM
A police vehicle is parked on the side of the road. © Philipp von Ditfurth/dpa/Symbolbild
Massive Eritrean riots like the one in Stuttgart in September will not happen again, Prime Minister Kretschmann promised after the riots. Now another explosive event is planned.
Stuttgart - Wooden slats, stones and bottles as weapons, dozens of injured police officers, investigations against more than 200 people: The massive Eritrea riots in Stuttgart in mid-September were only two and a half months ago, and another event next weekend is causing unrest. A festival with a youth football tournament in a sports hall in the city centre announced as a charity festival on Saturday (16:00 p.m.) could again call opponents of the ruling government of the African country on the scene from the point of view of the police. This is because a large number of Eritrean associations in Germany are considered to be close to the government.
According to their own statements, the police are planning an extensive operation in the Zuffenhausen district on Saturday, as a counter-demonstration of Eritrean dissidents is expected. The Bundesliga home game of VfB Stuttgart and a pro-Palestine demonstration will also tie up the police strongly.
According to the event poster, the tournament and festival are organized by the Eritrean Association for the Physically Handicapped. He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. Posters and invitations mention the name of a school as the venue. According to the rector, quoted by the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten", the hall does not belong to the school. The city says it is looking into this and did not initially comment in more detail.
On 16 September, the police had defended an event of the Eritrea associations against violent rioting demonstrators. Participants of the event, who, according to the police, are close to the dictatorial regime in Africa, as well as police officers, were attacked with batons, poles, stones and bottles. At least 34 police officers were injured. More than 232 suspects have been investigated. In July, there had already been riots at an Eritrea festival in the Hessian city of Giessen.
The increasingly violent clashes are seen by experts as proxy wars: After 30 years of armed resistance, Eritrea separated from Ethiopia in 1993. Since then, it has been governed by President Isaias Afewerki in a one-party dictatorship. Opposition is forbidden, nor is there a constitution, separation of powers or elections. In addition, there is a strict system of military service and forced labour, from which many people flee abroad. Eritrea is one of the poorest countries in the world. Due to political persecution and the human rights situation, deportations to Eritrea are currently not possible.
After the riot in Stuttgart, Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann promised that there would be no more such riots. "If more such events take place, we will know how to prevent such violent riots from happening again," the Green politician had assured three days after the riots. Dpa