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Week 14: After 23 years of peace in Northern Ireland, the unrest is back

During the past week, riots and riots have once again taken place on the streets of Belfast in Northern Ireland. 88 police have been reported injured during the protests this week alone. The polarization is increasing and there is no indication that the violent riots have reached their peak.

April 10, 2021 marked the 23rd anniversary of the Good Friday Treaty. This agreement marked the end of three violent decades between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. 

In the negotiations on Britain's exit from the EU, one of the most difficult questions was how the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland should be drawn. Negotiations ended with the EU-UK border ending up on the Irish Sea. Northern Ireland is thus in practice a continuing part of the EU's economic leeway. 

Dagens Nyheter's editorial staff explains that the new violence in Northern Ireland is about that Brexit accelerates the identity-political conflict between radical Irish Unionists and hardline nationalists. Erik de la Reguera writes in Dagens Nyheter that the Unionists are disappointed with the British government and see the exit agreement as a "betrayal agreement" where the distance to the central power in London has been moved even further away. At the same time, the Republican Party Sinn Fein has a tailwind and 42 per cent of Northern Ireland voters now support the idea of ​​a united Irish Republic. 

Katrine Marcal writes in Dagens Nyheter that Brexit is not the only explanatory factor for the prevailing violence in Belfast. Marcal writes that several groups that have historically pushed for political violence in Northern Ireland today control the drug trade in the country.  

- There is speculation that some gang leaders are simply angry because they have found it more difficult to get drugs from Scotland due to the new Brexit controls.

The leading parties for each side, nationalist Sinn Féin and the unionist party DUP, call for calm. At the same time, there is a hint of a sense of responsibility for the political leaders in the area. 

"We have a duty as political leaders to step forward and do our part to ensure that it never happens again," said Irish Prime Minister Michaél Martin. 

Another security policy issue debated this week is Sweden's relationship with NATO. In an opinion piece in Dagens Nyheter, Ann Linde (S) and Peter Hultqvist (S) write about how Sweden's freedom of alliance is of great importance in a world characterized by: "nationalism, belief in authoritarian systems, divisions between nations and within nations." Linde and Hultqvist believe that the bourgeoisie not only wants to see a "NATO option" but also tries to approach NATO membership, but that it would mean uncertainty about Sweden's security policy role in the outside world and does not pave the way for stability and long-term. 

As a reply to the article in Dagens Nyheter, Expressen's editorial board replies that the Social Democrats' reluctance to accept the NATO option sends vague signals to the outside world. They write that the Social Democratic policy is outdated and that a NATO option is not equal to a membership. 

A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles on global development and Sweden's role in the world: 

The riots in Northern Ireland

Brexit has paved the way for extremism's comeback in Northern Ireland
Dagens Nyheter, Leader

Brexit is not the direct cause of the violence in Northern Ireland
Dagens Nyheter, Katrine Marcal

In Northern Ireland, sparks like these can quickly turn into a major fire 
Dagens Nyheter, Erik de la Reguera 

The Prime Minister of Ireland fears a spiral of violence
Dagens Nyheter

Northern Ireland is on fire and peace is threatened again
Sydsvenskan, Principal

Restless night in Belfast - Biden urges calm 
Svenska Dagbladet, Jonas Ekblom 

Violence shakes Northern Ireland - Johnson: "Very worried"
Dagens Nyheter, Sofia Tanaka & Mia Holmgren

Security policy

Security policy remains in place - we are not leaving the freedom of alliance
Dagens Nyheter

S open relationship with nato only creates confusion 
Expressen 

The Corona Pandemic 

Biden's vaccine diplomacy as cunning as Putin's 
Aftonbladet

Central Europe was an oasis in the pandemic - now it is its center 
Dagens Nyheter 

Sweden must help developing countries get vaccines - for our own sake 
Dagens Nyheter 

Sweden and China 

Acknowledge and condemn the genocide that is taking place in China 
Expressen

Sweden and the EU

Europe yes - EU state no
Svenska Dagbladet 

Is there something in the text that is incorrect? Contact us at opinion@fuf.se

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