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Protesters brandish sticks during angry London clashes with police

https://twitter.com/i/status/1741109969045315799

Around 50 activists were gathered in Southwark protesting about fighting between Eritrea and Ethiopia ,The Met Police has moved in to arrest protestors after chaos broke out on London's streets, with Eritrean protesters attacking riot vans with sticks outside a theatre.  

The busy road Camberwell Road in south London has since reopened, but police have confirmed a number of arrests have been made and as many as 60 protestors remain behind a police cordon.

Shocking scenes around The Lighthouse theatre appeared to show protesters wielding sticks clashing with Met Police officers, bringing traffic to a standstill.

The protest is related to 'tensions in the Eritrean community', the Met Police confirmed. 

One person on X said he heard the Eritrean embassy was in the middle of a meeting when the protesters showed up at the scene. 

Shocking scenes appear to also show protesters with blue flags aiming sticks at officers, with one launching a traffic barrier into the line of police

Camberwell Road in Camberwell has been blocked near Burgess Park this afternoon
 

Camberwell Road in Camberwell has been blocked near Burgess Park this afternoon 

The busy road Camberwell Road in south London has since reopened, but police have confirmed a number of arrests have been made and as many as 60 protestors remain behind a police cordon
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The busy road Camberwell Road in south London has since reopened, but police have confirmed a number of arrests have been made and as many as 60 protestors remain behind a police cordon

The protest is related to 'tensions in the Eritrean community', the Met Police confirmed
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The protest is related to 'tensions in the Eritrean community', the Met Police confirmed

Police following a disturbance near to the Lighthouse Theatre in Camberwell Road
 

Police following a disturbance near to the Lighthouse Theatre in Camberwell Road

'People I've talked to say that the Eritrean embassy was holding a meeting and the protesters turned up and there was a confrontation between the two groups,' he said. 

'Now they are kettling protesters while the Eritrean government staff are still inside the building I think.'  

Southwark Police put a statement out on X which read: 'Officers are on scene in Camberwell Road, SE5 where there is a protest with approximately 50 people gathered outside a private venue. 

'Additional officers are on their way to the location to assist with the demonstration.' 

The force later added: 'Camberwell Road has now reopened after a demonstration outside a private venue. 

'A group of approximately 60 protesters remain behind a police cordon. A number of arrests have been made.'

Police said a section 35 dispersal order has been put in place in Camberwell Road until 7am tomorrow - enabling officers to exclude individuals or groups of people from the area for 48 hours.  

The Lighthouse theatre hosts large and small events, holding weddings, themed parties and conferences. 

Police in riot gear appear to form a 'ring of steel' after a violent protest in Camberwell
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Police in riot gear appear to form a 'ring of steel' after a violent protest in Camberwell

Officers with shields and carrying helmets appear to guard the doors of The Lighthouse theatre - one of which has the glass broken
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Officers with shields and carrying helmets appear to guard the doors of The Lighthouse theatre - one of which has the glass broken

A protest involving approximately 50 individuals has broken out outside The Lighthouse Theatre on Camberwell Road
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A protest involving approximately 50 individuals has broken out outside The Lighthouse Theatre on Camberwell Road

The Met Police has sent in extra officers as Eritrean protesters attacked riot vans with sticks outside a theatre in South London
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The Met Police has sent in extra officers as Eritrean protesters attacked riot vans with sticks outside a theatre in South London

A large police presence attended the scene during the protest
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A large police presence attended the scene during the protest

Footage posted on social media shows people hitting cop cars with sticks as they swarm the area. 

Huge crowds can be seen blocking the road as cars are forced to a halt and a large police presence surrounds the area. 

Shocking scenes appear to also show protesters with blue flags aiming sticks at officers, with one launching a traffic barrier into the line of police.

The protest is thought to have been sparked by representatives of the Eritrean government attending a meeting in London. 

The controversial African nation remains under the 'one-man dictatorship' of President Isaias Afewerki, international advocacy agany Human Rights Watch reports, with 'no legislature, no independent civil society organizations or media outlets and no independent judiciary'.

Tens of thousands of people have fled Eritrea for Europe, many alleging they were mistreated by Afwerki' repressive government. 

The conflicts surrounding gatherings highlight the deep divide among members of the Eritrean diaspora, those who remain close to the government and those who have fled to live in exile and strongly oppose Afwerki. 

In September an Eritrean culture festival in Stuttgart descended into violent chaos as opposing mobs attacked each other and police with stones, bottles, and wooden planks.

The clashes broke out between Eritrean government supporters and opponents as some 200 protesters gathered outside the festival in the southwestern German city. 

As violence flared, dozens of people were injured, including at least 26 officers. One resident described the scene as 'like a war'. 

A fight between Eritrean government supporters and opponents in Tel Aviv in early September led to one of the most violent street confrontations among African asylum seekers and migrants in the city's recent memory.