Violence Must Stop: Leaders Call for End to ‘Street Disorder’ in N Ireland as Unrest Enters 6th Day

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by Oleg Burunov

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned ongoing violent clashes in Northern Ireland, urging the sides to resolve disagreements by means of dialogue, rather than “violence or criminality”.

Northern Ireland’s leaders are due to discuss the ways to resolve the ongoing violence in the country, following a Wednesday incident in Belfast where a bus was hijacked and set on fire during the sixth consecutive night of unrest.

The country’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said on Thursday that the executive would be briefed on the “violence and street disorder which is causing huge distress in local communities at this time”.

Man charged with throwing petrol bomb after unrest in #Newtownabbey

Police say 30 petrol bombs were thrown and three vehicles burned on second night of trouble in #NorthernIreland pic.twitter.com/0a0a1P1aWx

— ‎ ‎Oswaldo Royett (@oswaldosrm) April 5, 2021

She pointed out that “those involved in violence, criminal damage, manipulation of our young people and attacks on the police must stop”.

O’Neill was echoed by Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster who tweeted that there’s “no justification for violence”, describing protesters as “an embarrassment” to the country, who Foster claimed aims “to take the focus off the real law breakers in Sinn Fein”.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for his part, expressed serious concern over “the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland”, stressing differences should be resolved at the negotiating table, not through “violence or criminality”.

With 41 police officers injured last night alone, amidst growing unrest we need political cohesion in Northern Ireland. Repeated calling for @ChiefConPSNI resignation is fuelling the mob. @PSNIRBLX women and men deserve better political leadership. pic.twitter.com/4DwPEfZuTE

— Evan Morris MBE (@sirromnave) April 7, 2021

#Ireland.. Bus hijack by loyalist youth & set on fire on six night of unrest in northern Ireland in Belfast. Driver was fortunate to escape passengers got off just before this .Rioters in driver’s seat released the brakes before getting off ,Bus seems to have free rolled pic.twitter.com/pXknmEEvjM

— 💝🌹💖jaggirmRanbir💖🌹💝 (@jaggirm) April 8, 2021

The remarks followed a double-decker vehicle being stolen in Belfast by protesters who later threw several incendiary bottles at the bus, setting it ablaze at the junction of Lanark Way and Shankill Road, with the driver reportedly being assaulted.

The sixth day of unrest also saw street clashes with police in some parts of Northern Ireland, as protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at officers. More than 40 policemen were reportedly injured and nine people were detained since the outbreak of the new violence.

Beginning of Unrest

The unrest kicked off last Friday, when the Northern Ireland prosecutor’s office refused to charge members of the republican party Sinn Fein for breaking COVID-19 restrictions after they attended the funeral of former member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) Bobby Storey, who fought for separation from the United Kingdom.

#BREAKING Northern Ireland Secretary and Prime Minister called for calm after night of unrest in south Belfast (source @BBCNewspic.twitter.com/6QwaJDk8yY

— Fra🗣️ (@FranceBlogger) April 4, 2021

More than 2,000 mourners attended Storey’s funeral on 30 June 2020, and unionists claimed they blatantly ignored social distancing rules at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

💣 – CIVIL UNREST

MORE RIOTS IN IRELAND

More riots occurred in Northern Ireland again tonight as they riot over what is described as ‘two tier policing’.🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/Xt4AQPWb7b

— Mr. Wolf (@mole_cola) April 5, 2021

This led to all of the main pro-British parties – the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV), and Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) – calling for the resignation of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)’s chief constable.

Last week’s unrest turned into violent protests as loyalists, who advocate closer ties with London, are concerned over the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, part of the Brexit trade deal between London and Brussels.

The protocol stipulates control procedures for an array of goods that transit to and from Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland remains in the single market for goods and applies EU customs rules at its ports, the protocol moved the regulatory and customs border to the Irish Sea, with a series of checks, and obligatory certifications now additionally required for many goods to be shipped into the region from other parts of Great Britain, causing dissatisfaction among loyalists in Northern Ireland, who feel it creates a border between them and the rest of the UK.

Sputnik

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