Eritrean invaders pretending to be “asylum seekers” who were relocated from Italy to Cyprus in terms of the European Union’s “migrant distribution program” rioted, burned down their accommodation and attacked passers-by in Kofinou because the authorities had refused to pay them welfare after they refused to work.
According to a report in the Cyprus Mail, at least two of the African invaders were arrested after “riots broke out at an asylum reception center in Kofinou during which rubbish bins were torched and installations damaged.”
A court was told that the two suspects and another invader, also from Eritrea, “started protesting on Friday night at 9.30pm because the authorities had decided not to grant them a monthly stipend after they refused to work.”
The center’s “personnel tried to calm the men however, they started smashing things and instigating others to join in,” the report continued.
By the time police had arrived on the scene, the African invaders had thrown furniture and trash bins on the main road and set them alight.
When the fire service was called to put out the flames, the Africans then started stoning the fire trucks and police. At the same time, the invaders attacked the buildings used as dormitories and offices at their accommodation center.
“More officers arrived at the center along with negotiators who tried to communicate with the rioters only to be met by stones,” the Cyprus Mail continued.
Finally, riot police were sent and forcibly brought the center under control after midnight. The violence continued, however, and just before 4 am, one of workers at the center noticed a fire at one of the prefabricated buildings near the entrance. The fire was put out by the fire service after causing extensive damage to the interior.
Four invaders from Eritrea were identified as the instigators of the trouble and police issued warrants for their arrest. They managed to locate two of them and had to fire warning shots in the air to disperse the crowd and make the arrests.
Police arrested a third invader later, while the other one remains at large.
Following the arrests, a number of the invaders marched on the police station at Kofinou and remained there for hours demanding to see the suspects. They claimed that the two men had nothing to do with the riots.
Cyrpiot Interior Ministry permanent secretary Kypros Kyprianou said during a visit to the invader center that 40 individuals from Eritrea were relocated to Cyprus in the past two-three months under the EU program.
“One of their demands is to return to Italy,” he told reporters. “But what caused the vandalism was them being informed they would not receive the guaranteed minimum income (€480) because they refused to work.
Kyprianou said the law on the guaranteed minimum income applied to all citizens of the republic without exception.