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New unrest in Northern Ireland - bus catches fire

New unrest in Northern Ireland – bus catches fire

It will never happen again.

Violence will not be allowed to prevail.

Peace will be preserved.

That was promised last year when the UK and EU negotiators announced that a new agreement had been reached on Christmas Eve. This agreement meant that there was no obligation for most goods and that the border between the Cordian knot, Ireland and Northern Ireland was finally settled in negotiations.

A “difficult” boundary can now be avoided, it was explained, and the 1998 peace treaty was defended. Britain and the European Union do not control food, country of birth and so on on the island’s official border. But in the first place In between Northern Ireland and the British mainland.

It calmed down a bit Among the radical Republican groups that threatened to attack every new border station built on the island.

But on the other hand, among the Unionists – who wanted to stay in Britain at all costs – the disappointment was overwhelming. There, many initially supported Brexit, hoping that leaving the EU would strengthen ties with the central government in London.

Boris Johnson had previously promised that no unofficial boundary would be drawn at sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

But now it happened anyway.

Britain withdrew from the Customs Union And the single market, but Northern Ireland was left with a foothold in the EU – and it resembled an economic union with Ireland.

The radical trade unionists who often call themselves “believers” cannot trust their eyes. Their nightmare – reunification with Ireland – seemed to come very close.

The radical trade unionists who often call themselves “believers” cannot trust their eyes. Their nightmare – reunification with Ireland – seemed to come very close.

In faith circles, there was talk of a “treacherous agreement.” Jamie Bryson, one of the most influential believers, warned a year ago that this could lead to violence. “If threats of violence are proven to work for radical Republicans – believers run the risk of starting to think ‘what works for them, it might work for us’,” Bryson told DN.

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In early March of this year Several faithful paramilitary organizations announced that they would withdraw their support for the 1998 peace agreement. Now a real uprising seems to have begun.

In the past week, unrest has rocked Belfast and Terry – or Londonterry, as unionists call the city.

The spark came when it became clear that the big Republican Sinn F தலைமைin leadership was escaping sanctions to attend the funeral of Bobby Story, a senior IRA member and Sinn Fin leader, amid current restrictions.

But the unionist’s gunshot The barrel was dry. On Wednesday, the violence escalated further.

A bus in Belfast was hijacked by masked activists. The videos show how close military orders are issued by criminals. Some people clap and cheer as petrol-filled firebombs are thrown at the bus.

1968-1998 – Scenes similar to the archive footage of “The Troubles”, a three-decade-long conflict between Republicans and Unionists that claimed more than 3,500 lives. But it is happening here, now, in April 2021, three months after the Brexit agreement came into force.

On Wednesday, radical Republican activists also appeared on the other side of the blockade in the historically charged area of ​​Shanghai Road in West Belfast. Fire bombs, known as Molotov cocktails, were thrown back and forth over the “walls of peace” because of the so-called barriers between residential areas. At all times the police retreated to avoid getting into trouble. At least 60 police officers are said to have been injured in the past week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Calls for conversation, but he doesn’t have much power on either side. The Northern Ireland Parliament in Stormont held an additional session on Thursday to discuss the violence, calling on politicians in all camps there to remain calm now.

Police believe that paramilitary loyalists in Northern Ireland are already known to be involved in drug and arms trafficking and that some of the perpetrators are also linked to organized crime.

But these groups also have widespread support in poor, vulnerable Protestant areas, where unrest is rampant. Increased support due to the feeling of abandonment by leading politicians in the Brexit talks.

According to some estimates Paramilitary groups can mobilize up to 12,500 men. But judging by the video footage, there aren’t more than a few hundred serious rapists out there so far, many of them teenagers. Many of these activists may have been born after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Northern Ireland is known to be fragile. For two decades it has been protected by the hard work of mediators on both sides, and a cornerstone is the free movement and friction flow of goods between the EU and the UK.

Now that pillar has fallen.

Finding a new foundation for peace will be a challenge. Polarity is growing.

42 percent of the electorate Northern Ireland now supports the idea of ​​a united Ireland, with Republican Sinn Fன்in seeming to have the wind in his boat. In the union camp, a frustration is almost growing, which could lead to an explosion of violence during traditional marches planned in the coming weeks.

At the same time, tariff controls between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland have come to a dramatic start. In February, checks were halted for a day or two following threats from port staff. The British government now wants a period of up to two years to comply with most restrictions in Belfast – fearing that some food will officially run out in Northern Ireland.

A diplomatic fight that would be hard to understand if one did not put weight on the scenes currently taking place on the streets of working class neighborhoods in Northern Ireland.

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