متون
Volume 3, Numéro 1, Pages 5-12

The Future Of Peace In Northern Ireland Between The Devil Of Unionism And The Deep Blue Sea Of Ira

Authors : Moussaoui Abdelkrim .

Abstract

Unfortunately this inherent ambiguity in the agreement, though vital for providing each side with ‘its’ victory, has stored up difficulties for the future, difficulties that some three years after the GFA are only now being confronted with predictably destabilizing consequences. The subsequent ‘stop-start-stop’ record of the new Northern Ireland executive, the boil of decommissioning that still awaits lancing and the knotty questions of police reform, British de-militarization and the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday all loom like ice-bergs on the horizon and testify to the limitations of the 1998 Agreement. It also furnished those elements that stood outside it with an easy, soft target. Such flexible and multiple readings of the GFA enabled the DUP (and a growing number of Ulster Unionists) to claim it was not really an agreement at all. For them it was a sham, a mere tactical realignment by Republicans looking to continue their struggle by other means, and gullibly supported by naïve British and Unionist politicians. Sections of the IRA would probably view ‘the peace’ in a similar way as an option to run with and, when exhausted, discard if nothing concrete materializes. In other words, the very nature of the peace agreement appeared indefinite, contested and ambiguous. It was a malleable, even moveable, agreement rather than a fixed and finite one. Though, arguably, it was these very qualities that allowed a settlement to be agreed in the first place. And a flawed peace is surely better than no peace

Keywords

Peace ,Northern Ireland