Netherlands: Tensions between Mollucans and Moroccans
The town of Culemborg was the scene of serious riots New Year's Eve. Groups of Moroccan and Moluccan youth went at each other - a car was set on fire and agents who appeared at the site of the hostilities were pelted with firecrackers and stones. It became quiet only after residents were ordered inside. Six people were arrested.
At 5 AM Friday morning, the situation between the two groups went badly when several Moroccans drove into several Moluccan residents. They drove into a garden and a house and hit two people who stood in the yard. The people in the yard were lightly injured. A 43 year old man was arrested on suspicion of being involved.
The car passengers tried to escape, but were held by angry Moluccans. Two passengers were injured, one had to be transported to hospital in an ambulance. Three Moroccans (ages 18, 19) were arrested on charges of attempted manslaughter. Two others (ages 20 and 21) were arrested later.
The attack with the car happened in the early morning, after a night in which most of Culemborg - compared to recent years - experienced a calm New Year's.
The police and riot police are present in force in the neighborhood. People who want to enter are searched. The atmosphere is yet tense and riot police is patrolling the streets.
There have been tensions in Culemborg between Moroccans and Mollukans since September, when there were week long riots and the riot police were called in.
According to mayor Van Schelven they've been working hard to make the problem go away once and for all, and to bring the instigators of the riots to justice. He is "angry and irritated" that things went badly again.
There were still problems on Sunday - fighting groups in the Terweijde neighborhood three stones and bottles at several windows. Two people were lightly injured. The municipality and the police are discussing the situation today. There is an emergency order in force in the neighborhood, enabling the police to keep out anybody who doesn't belong there.
The Moluccans came to Terweijde in the 1960s. Many Moroccans came shortly afterward to work in the local furniture industry. There are 2,000 Moroccans and 1,000 Moluccans in the town of 27,000 residents.
Sources: AD 1, 2; NRC (Dutch)