JASON CAIRNDUFF / REUTERS
NORTHERN IRELAND – Despite calls for calm from London, Dublin and Washington, this Thursday, April 8, a new violence broke out in Northern Ireland, agitated for a week by clashes that the British province had not seen more in years.
In Belfast, riot police clashing with Republican protesters received rocks and Molotov cocktails as they tried to prevent crowds from heading towards their unionist counterparts, an AFP journalist found.
It has been a week since the British province has been shaken by these unprecedented clashes since 1998, with large reinforcements of projectiles launched at the police and burning vehicles, mainly in loyalist areas with a Protestant majority.
This violence, which has so far left more than 50 injured in the police force, brings up the specter of the 3,500 deaths that occurred during the three decades of “riots” between Republicans, mainly Catholics in favor of reunification with Ireland, and Protestants. . trade unionists, fervent advocates of membership in the UK.
The “worried” White House
These new clashes broke out despite calls for calm earlier in the day from the British and Irish Prime Ministers, joining their voices with those of Northern Ireland leaders, Unionists and Republicans, to condemn this ‘unacceptable’ violence, in a context of tensions and bitterness after Brexit.
Before an extraordinary session of the local parliament, the government of Northern Ireland, made up of unionists and republicans, issued a joint statement denouncing the violence “completely unacceptable and unjustifiable, whatever the concerns”, calling for an end to “attacks against the police, public services and communities ”.
Boris Johnson, who dispatched his minister for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, met in the afternoon with his Irish counterpart, Micheal Martin.
“By emphasizing that violence is unacceptable, they called for calm,” Dublin said. “It is through dialogue and work on the institutions created by the Good Friday Agreement (which ended the riots in 1998) that we must move forward.”
The White House also called for calm, saying it was “concerned” by the violence that occurs when Joe Biden, proud of his Irish origins, had already expressed his concern about the consequences of Brexit for peace in the province.
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