Berlin condemns clashes at Eritrean festival in Germany

Author thumbnail
Berlin condemns clashes at Eritrean festival in Germany
Riot police at the Eritrean festival in Gießen. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Helmut Fricke

The German government on Monday condemned clashes with police at a controversial Eritrean music festival in the town of Gießen during which more than two dozen officers were hurt.


A foreign ministry spokesman told reporters it was "extremely unfortunate that there was violence against police" at the weekend event.

About a thousand police were deployed in Gießen, a city of 80,000 people north of Frankfurt, after last year's festival degenerated into violence.

They fired tear gas and used water cannon to quell unrest on Saturday in which 26 officers were injured, mainly in incidents of "stone throwing," regional police said on Twitter, adding that around 100 arrests were made.

The organisers are accused of being close to the authorities in Eritrea, a secretive East African state whose rights record has been fiercely attacked by watchdogs.

The spokesman said foreign ministry officials had made clear to Eritrean diplomats in Germany last week "that Eritrean conflicts must not play out on German soil".

Gießen had unsuccessfully appealed to a court to ban the festival.

READ ALSO: Clashes at Eritrean festival leave 26 German police injured


Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in May 1991 and formally declared independence on May 24th, 1993. It is led by Issaias Afeworki, who is known for his iron-fisted rule.

The Red Sea nation has been sanctioned for meddling in regional conflicts, including most recently over abuses by its army in the Tigray war in Ethiopia.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also