CrisisWatch is our early warning and global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.
Loyalist paramilitary groups temporarily withdrew support for Good Friday Agreement. Loyalist Communities Council (LCC), umbrella group representing paramilitary groups, 3 March temporarily withdrew support for 1998 Good Friday Agreement in protest of Northern Ireland Protocol – provision of UK-EU “Brexit” agreement in effect since 1 Jan 2020 that creates regulatory border in Irish Sea; Chairman of LCC David Campbell warned that EU and UK would be “responsible for the permanent destruction of agreement” if not honoured in its entirety. Campbell 19 March warned that if “core guarantees” were not honoured, this would lead “to significant protest, to the bringing down of the Northern Ireland executive and then into significant political crisis”.
Controversial Northern Ireland Protocol faced criticism amid warnings from Unionist leaders of potential return to violence. Amid growing disquiet surrounding Northern Ireland Protocol – provision of UK-EU “Brexit” agreement in effect since 1 Jan 2020 that creates regulatory border in Irish Sea – former Northern Ireland First Minister and co-architect of 1998 Good Friday Agreement David Trimble 20 Feb warned that “there is real potential for those who have engaged in past violence to take action again into their own hands” if protocol is allowed to stand; Trimble criticised protocol, saying it means “Northern Ireland is no longer fully part of the UK”. First Minister Arlene Foster 25 Feb met with Loyalist Community Council (LCC), organisation representing loyalist paramilitary groups; LCC chairman David Campbell 3 Feb said it may be necessary for loyalists “to fight physically to maintain our freedoms within the UK.” Chief Constable Simon Byrne 4 Feb warned of “increasingly febrile” rhetoric around protocol.
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