(Asmara 27-10-2013) Team Arbi Harnet Asmara (Freedom Friday) report that there were riots on the streets of Asmara following an attempt by mercenaries from the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (an Ethiopian opposition group known locally as Demhit) to conduct mass arrest of young people who had gathered to watch Premier League Football in Asmara’s Markato district.
The riots started outside Hamassien Restaurant, when a resisting young man was manhandled by Demhit officers, igniting anger on the streets. When the fights spread and began to hit neighbouring residential areas like Maitemenai to the North, police chiefs were called in to calm the situation which was clearly out of hand. The head of Police in the Central Administrative Zone, Wedi Yisak, was on the scene and is believed to have ordered the switching off of electricity supplies to the city and things started calming down after darkness descended.
This morning things were much calmer and the presence of Demhit officers is less prominent than in previous days, however many families of Lampedusa victims have stopped receiving guests and obituary notices are also coming down.
However Team Arbi Harnet has confirmed that the mood of resistance inside the city is stronger than ever and seem confident that things are changing fast.
Reflecting on yesterday’s even a member of the team stated: ‘it was a very encouraging sign to finally see young people resisting arrests and fighting back, the young women at the bars were particularly forceful in their resistance and also in their fierce protection of the young men fighting Demhit, stay in touch we will have more to report in the coming days’
There weren’t any fatalities from yesterday’s riots however at least two young men have sustained injuries and it is believed several Demhit officers have also been injured.