Orange Volunteers For this assignment, I wanted to choose a group that is not so well know so I chose the Orange Volunteers or OV who operate in Northern Ireland. They were initially active in the 1970’s and 80’s but they were more active in the late 1990’s with a goal to prevent a political settlement with Irish Nationalists. They would be considered a small group with 20 hard-core members with some of those experienced in terrorist tactics and bomb making (Northern Ireland Loyalist Paramilitaries (U.
K. , extremists), 2005). These members consist of disgruntled loyalist hardliners who split from groups observing the cease-fire. A major police operation in October 1999 led to the arrest of several leading members of the OV (Northern Ireland Loyalist Paramilitaries (U. K. , extremists), 2005). They themselves declared a cease-fire in September 2000 but they have maintained the ability to follow through with bombings, arson, beatings, and possibly robberies.
Despite the declaration, violent activities continued and the organization issued a “ Back to War” Statement in February 2001 (Northern Ireland Loyalist Paramilitaries (U. K. , extremists), 2005). Another ceasefire was declared on December 31, 2001 in an effort to distance the organization from the narcotics and extortion activities of loyalist groups such as the UDA (Northern Ireland Loyalist Paramilitaries (U. K. , extremists), 2005). However, in March 2003, the OV staged a show of strength to threaten to end its ceasefire if an unsatisfactory peace deal was revealed.
Members of the OV are still considered active, engaging in the intimidation and assault of Catholics in Northern Ireland. They are known for attacking Catholic civilian interests in Northern Ireland. The group has been linked to pipe-bomb attacks and sporadic assaults on Catholics. In addition to maintaining Northern Ireland’s ties to the United Kingdom, the OV believe it to be their self-appointed duty to protect Northern Ireland’s Protestant population, as well as the Protestant faith as a whole (Northern Ireland Loyalist Paramilitaries (U.
K. , extremists), 2005). To this end, in November 1998, the Orange Volunteers declared their first objective was to kill the Republican terrorist members who would be released as part of the peace process. However, the majority of its attacks have been pipe bombings, arson attacks, and assaults targeting Catholic civilian interests such as churches, residences, and businesses. Due to its selection f “ soft” targets, there have been accusations that the OV is merely a cover name utilized by other groups that is enabling members to continue conducting attacks while their organization publicly abide by ceasefires (Northern Ireland Loyalist Paramilitaries (U. K. , extremists), 2005). Reference: Northern Ireland Loyalist Paramilitaries (U. K. , extremists). (2005, November). Retrieved April 18, 2011, from Council on Foreign Relations: http://www. cfr. org/terroristorganizations/northern-ireland-loyalist-paramilitaries-uk-extremist/p9274
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