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A curfew established in a city in Australia after violence between rival gangs

“Enough is enough!” Eva Lawler, the head of the government of the northern state, one of Australia’s six regions, declared on television.

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A curfew established in a city in Australia after violence between rival gangs

“Enough is enough!” Eva Lawler, the head of the government of the northern state, one of Australia’s six regions, declared on television. “We want residents to be able to feel safe when they walk in the street, when they go shopping or pick up their children from school,” she also declared during a large press conference.

The day after major violence, triggered by the death of a young man on March 20, the authorities declared a curfew on Wednesday in the town of Alice Springs for minors. All those under 18 must now remain sheltered from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, for the next two weeks, including Easter.

According to police, several local clans engaged in fights in the city on Tuesday, involving more than 150 people. The violence culminated in a brawl in a city center pub. “People were notably armed with crowbars,” reported witnesses cited by Sky News Australia.

These clashes come directly after the death of an 18-year-old young man in a car accident on March 20. According to local media, the young man was in a stolen vehicle when it overturned. The eight other people who were on board fled without providing assistance to the victim. The perpetrators of the violence in the city are looking for the driver, an association official told CNN.

Despite everything, the police were able to arrest five people and seize around fifty weapons. “We will identify those responsible and they will be brought to court where they will have to answer for their behavior,” promised the region’s police commissioner. “I requested the intervention of the federal government and the army,” said the mayor of the city, who deplored a police force that was seriously outnumbered. The head of the regional government still announced a reinforcement of around sixty police officers.

Alice Springs, or Mparntwe in the Aboriginal language, is an isolated town, about 2000 km northwest of Sydney. A fifth of its 26,000 inhabitants are Aboriginal Australians, historically marginalized since the colonization of the island continent by Great Britain in 1788.

The city has for years been plagued by growing delinquency and a high unemployment rate, especially in Aboriginal communities. According to Australian government figures for 2022, 2,653 assaults were recorded there in just one year. The government has in recent years reduced the sale of alcohol in the city in an effort to reduce endemic violence, particularly sexual assault.

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