On 4 January the city of Culemborg in central Netherlands declared a state of emergency in the Terweijde district, reports De Volkskrant. Violent clashes had broken out at the end of the year between the ethnic Moroccan and Moluccan (Indonesian) communities there, which have been at daggers drawn for years now. Between the two populations, each of which has about a hundred agitators among its ranks, “it’s an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, according to the Amsterdam daily. The ban on public assembly now in place applies to any public gathering of four or more people. The Netherlands special police force have detailed rapid-deployment vehicles to the neighbourhood and even put up “concrete barricades to prevent trouble-makers from getting away”, notes Trouw. But “getting arrested carries a certain prestige” with many youths, so it is not an effective deterrent, observes the police chief. The city’s burgomaster is banking more on talks with the two communities to produce “a lasting solution”.
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