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Between 150 and 200 Eritreans, many armed with bats, long sticks, and blades, warred Saturday evening, spilling blood, attacking police, and destroying property. While violence over Eritrean politics is hardly unprecedented, this latest bout didn't take place inside that fragile East African nation but rather over 7,000 miles away in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wishful slogan, "diversity is our strength," appears to have gone unheeded or at the very least misinterpreted in various Canadian cities, including two in the province of Alberta, all recently rocked by Eritrean riots in recent days.
Just weeks after an earlier Eritrean riot that sent nine people to the hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, saw two violent groups of Eritrean rioters, one pro-government and another opposed, battle on Aug. 19 near the site of a soccer tournament promoting world peace, reported the Edmonton Journal.
Of the 400 or so individuals who participated in the violence, 11 were ultimately treated for injuries and ten were taken to the hospital.
The Calgary Herald reported that 80 police officers restored order after invoking the Riot Act for the first time since July 1, 1999, which commands rioters to disperse "on the pain of being guilty of an offence for which, on conviction, they may be sentenced to imprisonment for life."
While police curbed the fighting near the soccer field, rioters nevertheless proceeded to bash out the windows of a nearby banquet hall along with those belonging to several vehicles.
Hundreds of Eritreans took to arms once again Saturday evening, engaging in a vicious riot in the northeast community of Falconridge in Calgary, Alberta, reported the National Post.
Videos of the fighting show militants throwing rocks and brandishing various weapons.
Mian Wahid, a witness to the violence, told CTV News, "Around six o’clock, maybe 150 to 200 young guys gathered in this parking space and then they were holding long sticks in their hands and then they rushed towards the other side."
"It was looking like they were going there to attack some other people or some other group," said Wahid. "Initially, I thought they were protesting, but suddenly they started rushing towards the side."
One faction's attire reportedly featured the former Eritrean flag, whereas some members of the other faction wore the present Eritrean flag.
Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 following a protracted guerilla war. The 30th anniversary of its secession coupled with Eritrean dictator Isaias Afwerki's controversial reign has been cited as the cause of the numerous clashes across the West this summer.
Global News indicated that some rioters have accused pro-government groups of using festivals in Canada to raise money for Eritrea's "repressive regime," which it would appear they would be within their rights to do in a somewhat free society. Nevertheless, anti-government rioters appear willing to use violence to get their way.
Another witness to the Calgary riot recalled seeing men pouring out of vehicles carrying two-by-fours and pipes. Upon returning to the area he told CTV News, "All hell was breaking loose with cops."
The Calgary Police Service indicated that officers separated the warring groups around 5 p.m., underscoring that this was not a protest but rather a "violent conflict between two groups with opposing views."
Superintendent Cliff O'Brien of the Calgary Police Service's north division said, "It was a very violent event. We have assigned detectives to investigate and that's what they'll do," adding that some rioters had stashed weapons away prior to the attacks, suggestive of premeditation, reported Canadian state media.
O'Brien highlighted how some Eritrean rioters directed their violent energies at police, saying, "They were actively trying to assault the police officers. I think the fact that we have multiple people injured, some with some fairly serious injuries, I think the whole incident is troubling. On top of that, this impacted the entire city because we had to pull resources from other areas."
Lambros Kiriakakos, chairman of the Coalition of Eritrean Canadian Communities and Organizations, said in a statement, "Unless arrests are made by the police and charges laid, I’m afraid these violent attacks against us will continue."
Ten people ended up in the hospital as a result of the latest Eritrean melee.
Canada is not the only nation to have imported Eritrea's civil strife.
Norway's second largest city of Bergen recently saw brutal bouts of violence on Saturday.
Earlier in August, Sweden saw thousands of rioters storm an Eritrean festival in Stockholm, leaving ruin in their wake and leaving over 50 people injured. Seattle, Washington, also suffered the consequences of Eritrean infighting.
While Tel Aviv, Israel, similarly saw riots, the nation's leader has vowed to actually do something about the violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday he wants those Eritrean migrants involved in the fighting to be ejected from the country immediately, reported the Associated Press.
"We want harsh measures against the rioters, including the immediate deportation of those who took part," said Netanyahu. "They have no claim to refugee status. They support this regime. ... If they support the regime so much, they would do well to return to their country of origin."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.