Scuffles as Brussels anti-migration rally draws thousands, Latest World News - The New Paper

Scuffles as Brussels anti-migration rally draws thousands

This article is more than 12 months old

BRUSSELS Police deployed teargas and water cannon after scuffles broke out on Sunday as thousands of people answered a call by far-right groups to reject a UN migration pact.

Police said some 5,500 people rallied in Brussels' European quarter housing a number of European Union institutions. Some held banners bearing slogans including "Our people first" and "We have had enough, close the borders."

Police dispersed the crowd after projectiles and firecrackers were thrown and 90 people were detained, according to the Belga news agency.

Many marchers were supporters of the Vlaams Belang party, which opposes last week's signing of the UN accord in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.

The agreement is designed to frame an effective international approach to migration - a deeply divisive issue.

More than 150 countries approved the pact, a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

In Belgium, the issue has become a political hot potato.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was left leading a minority administration after the biggest party in his coalition quit over the accord.

Some marchers called for Mr Michel to resign and a number of opposition parties have called for a vote of confidence in the government. - AFP