Calgary police have announced they charged 11 of the Eritrean rioters after a lengthy investigation into the shockingly violent clash between two Eritrean groups in a northeast Calgary neighborhood.
The September 2 incident centered around two scheduled Eritrean events in the community.
Police said they don’t care about the political dispute but keeping the city safe.
Ykhlo Brhaane, Daniel Negasi, Okbazghi Tesfamichael Haile, Habtom Haile, and Efrem Haile Gebru, all men in their 30s, were charged with rioting and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Others were charged with assault with weapon on top of the possession related and rioting charges.
Eyewitnesses from the September incident estimated that two groups of Eritrean men, about 75-100 men per side, gathered in a parking area, armed with long sticks, rocks, and pipes, before savagely attacking each other over a political dispute from their home country.
Video footage taken by bystanders revealed individuals from both groups carrying long sticks and bats, and some even wearing helmets.
Chief Constable Neufeld said after the event it was the largest violent event to happen in Calgary “in recent memory.”
He further said the conflict was politically driven between the two Eritrean groups — not relating to Canada but their home country.
The anniversary of Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia, marking 30 years this year, saw a series of clashes between rival Eritrean groups.
“It was senseless violence that was planned and premeditated and there were individuals who wanted this to happen and it did,” Neufeld said.
Falconridge Boulevard was shut down in both directions between Castleridge Blvd. and McKnight Blvd. N.E. due to the mass conflict.