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Northern Ireland Conflict
Dátum pridania: 21.06.2006 Oznámkuj: 12345
Autor referátu: olushka
Jazyk: Angličtina Počet slov: 4 070
Referát vhodný pre: Gymnázium Počet A4: 13.5
Priemerná známka: 3.02 Rýchle čítanie: 22m 30s
Pomalé čítanie: 33m 45s
The SF put a lot of effort into the process that eventually was to bring about an IRA cease-fire. SF was convinced that the IRA's objectives could be achieved well through democratic means. The SF argument clearly influenced the leaders of the IRA. On 31 August 1994 the IRA announced their cease-fire. Though it was a victory for peace, it was not an all-inclusive Republican cease-fire. There were other less known groups such as the Irish National Liberation Army and Republican Sinn Fein that did not consider themselves bound by the IRA's cease-fire. A long and violent six weeks had past before the CLMC announced a cease-fire of their own. In 1995 both governments introduced a new Framework for Agreement. Peace in Northern Ireland helped the British and Irish governments find a new confidence in their dialogue. Not only was the document a continuation of issues discussed in The Joint Declaration for Peace, it also introduced new ideas for future governmental structures. Not everybody in the nationalist community rejected the framework. Some believed the agreement would be beneficial for the common good, the proposed structures had the potential to benefit both communities economically. However, the unionists did not see it in the same way.

The Cease - Fires: Republicans and LoyalistsThe decommissioning of paramilitary arms became an important issue as Northern Ireland moved towards multi-party talks. It became apparent that some of the participants would only accept those parties, who were linked to paramilitary organizations, into a talk's process if weapons were first handed over. Opposing parties saw this not only as unrealistic but also as an unfair precondition on the entry to talks. The British decided a separate committee should be formed on the question of decommissions. This didn't go over well with Sinn Fein or the IRA. On February 9th, the IRA ended their cease-fire. The process was to go on. Talks opened June 1996. As expected, SF was not allowed to enter the talks because the IRA had not resumed its cease-fire before the talks began. It would stay without Sinn Fein and be overshadowed by IRA violence most of the time. As September 1997 grew closer, and SF recognized the British government's desire to include them in the talks or else proceed without them, the Republican movement reassessed its political situation. John Hume argued that a resumption of the cease-fire was once again within reach of the government. On July 18th Hume and Adams released a joint statement that said lasting commitment would only be achieved if it is based on principles of democracy and equality and has the allegiance of both traditions.

Two days later, the IRA resumed its cease-fire. Both governments reacted with reserved hope and waited to see if the cease-fire was genuine. If it were clear the IRA had abandoned all paramilitary activity for six weeks, then SF would be allowed to enter the talks in September. The cease-fire held, SF was admitted into the talks. After a sincere effort by both governments to make the multi-party talks all inclusive, the talks still lacked representation from all parties. Violence had a direct impact on multi-party talks as the early months of 1998 brought the suspension of two parties from the process. The UDP is considered as the political wing of the paramilitary group the UDA / UFF which had been linked to many killings. It was made clear that they would be allowed back into the talks after a period of time. In late February 1998, SF was also suspended from the talks. Both governments believed those two killings, that of a Loyalist paramilitary and a Catholic drug dealer, was the work of the IRA. A little less than a month after the UDP walked out of the talks, they rejoined them on 23 February 1998. Despite Unionist claims that the IRA was linked to recent bombings, SF also was allowed back in the talks on 23 March 1998.

In an effort to overcome the political gridlock, the independent chairman of the multi-party talks set a deadline for agreement as the 9 April 1998.The Good Friday AgreementThe deadline did give the process a new sense of urgency and had been a good idea. During the last week of March and the first week of April serious problems still lay in the path of a political. Not surprisingly, Unionists and Nationalists were divided over how power would be shared in the proposed Northern Ireland Assembly, and the extent to which the Irish government would have influence over Northern Ireland under the proposed North-South structures. In retrospect, the tensions that were apparent between the various groupings were an indication of the historical compromise that was being asked of all sides. The midnight deadline, of 9 April 1998, was not achieved but parties and governments stayed at the Stormont castle until an agreement was reached. The imminent arrival of the Easter weekend, and the prospect of a collapse of the talks, gave the process and participants a last push.

The news of the Agreement was reported in the late afternoon on Good Friday. Amazingly all the parties involved in the talks attended the final session in which George Mitchell announced that an agreement had been reached and that the multi-party talks were at end. Those involved in the process were careful not to claim it as a victory for any particular party, but rather as the best agreement that could be achieved in the circumstances. FutureIs this a complicated process? It most definitely is, but it is not impossible. Some people feared that these events would derail the peace process. Others were determined not to let that happen. After the 1998 Omagh bombing incident, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, What the last few days actually have shown is that the Agreement and the peace process have survived and have emerged strengthened from the process. It is unclear yet whether this sentiment is true, or is merely wishful thinking. In the past, there have been agreements reached that subsequently fell apart. Will this one be different?

Maintaining this agreement will require tremendous willpower on both sides. People who have traditionally resolved disputes through the use of guns and bombs will have to learn the art of compromise. In the British general election in June 2001, increased support for both Sinn Fein and Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party, at the expense of more moderate parties, appeared to confirm the theory that Northern Ireland remains a highly polarized society. As one observer put it, it seems to be moving towards peace but is not yet at peace with itself.It seems clear that the majority of people are ready to undertake this challenge in return for a peaceful existence. Will their leaders be able to follow their wishes? Only time will tell.
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