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A New Approach Is Necessary: The Policy Ramifications of the April 2021 Loyalist Violence in Northern Ireland | CTC |

By Aaron Edwards

The 'leaderless' violence is a manifestation of deep-rooted socio-economic problems and a rejection by loyalists of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement of 1998. It also demonstrates and is reflective of the fragmentation of paramilitary loyalism. Lawmakers and intelligence and security practitioners need a more nuanced understanding of how the security environment has changed since the 1990s if they are to successfully combat the new threat in future.

It all began on Good Friday--April 2, 2021--with bricks, iron bars, and fireworks being thrown by local youths at police officers deployed on the edge of Belfast city center. It soon escalated into a concerted attack that left eight police officers injured. Over the next few nights, sporadic trouble returned to towns and cities across Northern Ireland as fear spread that the violence might threaten the hard-won peace.

by Oui on Thu Nov 11th, 2021 at 06:41:34 PM EST

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