Four London Officers Injured After Protest Outside Eritrean Embassy

At least four officers were injured and eight people arrested outside of a London theater Saturday afternoon after a protest related to “tensions amongst the Eritrean community” turned violent.

The incident happened in Camberwell, South London, where protestors of reportedly Ethiopian descent and some Eritreans stood outside of the Lighthouse Theatre looking to stop a meeting at the Eritrean embassy.

According to Metropolitan Police, around 50 people were gathered outside before violence broke out.

A video of the incident that was shared over social media showed uniformed officers holding back and defending themselves against protesters wielding sticks and poles, halting traffic.

Additional officers had to be called in for backup, according to Scotland Yard.

Four officers were injured during the protest. One officer was sent to the hospital but was later discharged.

“Eight people were arrested in Camberwell this afternoon for offenses including violent disorder, criminal damage, possession of offensive weapon, and assault on an emergency worker,” said Southwark Police.

A Section 35 dispersal order was placed on Camberwell Road until 7 a.m. New Year’s Eve to keep order. The order gave police authority to ban groups or individuals from a designated area for 48 hours.

The Metropolitan Police released a statement about the incident, saying that it is under investigation.

“We are aware of footage being shared online. This will be investigated, alongside other evidence, to identify anyone else who may have committed criminal offenses,” the statement said.

“Officers have been working with a group of people who organized an event at a private venue in Camberwell Road. Those arrested were part of a group of demonstrators who gathered outside the venue.”

Eritrea, which is located along the Red Sea between Sudan and Ethiopia, is one of Africa’s poorest nations. It was previously under Ethiopian control but gained its independence in 1993 after a 30-year war. The Ethiopian government has been threatening to go to war with Eritrea.

According to human rights groups, Eritrea is considered to be one of the world’s most repressed countries.