Executive to hold emergency meeting — BELFAST STREET VIOLENCE

Executive to hold emergency meeting — BELFAST STREET VIOLENCE”

It was the sixth night of violence in Northern Ireland, a period during which 55 police officers have been hurt.

But Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts said Wednesday's mayhem "was at a scale we have not seen in recent years".

Police officers have been injured after several hours of rioting in west Belfast.

The protocol includes control procedures for certain goods transited to Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom, which, according to loyalists, blurs the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as the latter remains a part of the EU.

The Northern Secretary is flying to Belfast to hold emergency talks with the main political parties as well as faith and community leaders in an attempt to quell a spate of violence.

I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses, attacks on a bus driver and the assault of a journalist.

On Thursday, Justice Minister Naomi Long, a member of the Alliance party, which is not part of the unionist or Irish nationalist camps, said that "deception" by pro-Brexit campaigners had resulted in unrealistic promises being made about Brexit's effects on Northern Ireland.

"It's safe to say we should all know well that when politics fail or are perceived to be failing, those who fill the vacuum offer destruction and despair", she told the regional assembly, which was recalled to discuss the clashes.

One of those who attended the funeral, along with around 2,000 other mourners, was the vice-president of republican party Sinn Féin and current Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill.

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As many predicted it would, the situation has been destabilized by Britain's departure from the European Union - after nearly 50 years of membership - that became final on December 31.

A new U.K. -EU trade deal has imposed customs and border checks on some goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. The arrangement was created to avoid checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland because an open Irish border has helped underpin the peace process built on the 1998 Good Friday accord.

Hundreds of youths in the British province's capital Belfast set a hijacked bus on fire and attacked police with stones yesterday in scenes reviving memories of decades of sectarian strife that claimed some 3,600 lives prior to a 1998 peace deal.

He pointed to the role of paramilitary groups who he warned were stoking divisions and exploiting young people within loyalist communities, adding: "It would be wrong to attribute what has happened simply to Brexit and the protocol". They expressed outrage that a new generation was being exposed to, and pulled into, violence.

"Young people were being encouraged to commit criminal acts by adults, who stood by clapping and encouraging the violence", Mr Roberts said.

"This is nothing short of child abuse", she said. But any long-term solution will require political commitment that appears in short supply. Sinn Fein and the DUP have blamed one another for the deteriorating situation.

Katy Hayward, a politics professor at Queen's University Belfast and senior fellow of the a Changing Europe think-tank, said unionists felt that "the union is very much under threat, that Northern Ireland's place is under threat in the union and they feel betrayed by London".

"And that's why we're focused on looking at how do we rebuild confidence in policing, and how do we deal with the issues around the Bobby Storey funeral - and secondly how do we deal with the issues related to the so-called border in the Irish Sea".

Regarding the bus attack in Belfast, she added in a subsequent post on Twitter: "This is not a protest".

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