Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Northern Ireland Parliament Reconvenes Whilst Hostilities Continue

00 Orange sash. 07.12


Protestants threw petrol bombs at police in Northern Ireland, injuring at least 27 officers during the fourth night of protests against restrictions on traditional Orange Order marches. On Monday, protestors threw at least six home-made explosive devices and several petrol bombs at police in East Belfast. The police called on the Northern Ireland Assembly to help end the upheaval. The reconvened regional parliament was to meet on Tuesday to discuss ways of restoring order. Belfast police responded with water cannons and at least one baton round. At least five other towns across Northern Ireland reported protests and other incidents. Thousands of pro-British Protestants hold marches every summer, which often turn into sectarian violence, because the Catholic minority, which supports unification with Ireland, considers the parades provocative.

The Protestant marches started on Friday. The authorities passed a law that forbade Protestant parades along a stretch of road that divided the two communities. Protests and incidents also occurred in NewtownabbeyAntrimDungannonPortadown, and Londonderry. US Vice President Joe Biden was one of the first to express his “deep concern” about the incidents in a phone call with Northern Ireland’s leaders. Senior police officials are also very worried about the situation and called for urgent measures to stop the violence. A peace deal made in 1998 seemed to have put an end to the years of sectarian disorder in the British province, but a particular problem still remains around the Orange parades marking the victory of Protestant King William over Catholic King James in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Police said they received hundreds of reinforcements from Britain. According to official reports, since the present upheaval began, police arrested sixty people and 71 police officers have been wounded.

16 July 2013

Voice of Russia World Service



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