British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned yet another night of violence in Northern Ireland, after protesters threw Molotov cocktails and a bus was set on fire in Belfast overnight from Wednesday to Thursday.
The violence comes after a week of riots which show that the fire is smoldering in the British province, where the consequences of Brexit create a feeling of betrayal among unionists attached to the crown.
Crowds gathered on Lanark Way in Belfast “where a bus was set on fire,” Northern Irish police said.
“The way to resolve disputes is through dialogue and not through violence or crime,” Boris Johnson tweeted late Wednesday while expressing “deep concern”.
Fires have been reported on Lanark Way, where huge metal barriers separate Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, according to the BBC correspondent.
“Hundreds of people on each side threw Molotov cocktails,” she tweeted. The arrival of the police has considerably reduced the violence, she added.
Subway traffic in the area has been suspended, the Press Association reported.
Northern Irish Prime Minister Arlene Foster said: “This is not a protest. It’s vandalism and attempted murder. These actions do not represent unionism or loyalty ”.
Last week, violence first erupted in the city of Londonderry, before spreading to a loyalist neighborhood in and around Belfast over Easter weekend.
These incidents resurface the specter of three bloody decades of “Troubles” between Republicans and Unionists, which left 3,500 dead.
The peace agreement signed in 1998 blurred the border between the British province and the Republic of Ireland, but Brexit weakened the delicate balance, requiring the introduction of customs controls between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
After tough negotiations, London and Brussels managed to agree on a solution, the Northern Irish Protocol, which avoids the return to a physical border on the island of Ireland by moving the controls in the ports Northern Irish.