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18 February 1999 Edition

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Crown force activity is undermining peace

Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuiness has called for the immediate withdrawal of the British Paratroop regiment from Cookstown. He said, ``this regiment has a notorious history of violence and abuse durected towards the Nationalist community. While many people are trying to move the peace process forward, the presence of the Paratroop regiment in Co Tyrone is not at all helpful at this difficult time.''

Meanwhile Sinn Fein councillor for Cookstown, Sean Begley has questioned the activities of the RUC. Last weekend the RUC visited the homes of a number of Nationalists to inform them that their lives were at risk from Loyalist death squads. The RUC has since refused to give ant specific details about the nature of the threat. Begley said that such failure by the RUC has the twin effect of increasing fear and also leaving the threatened more exposed as they don't know either who is supplying information about their movements or what aspects of their personal security to alter.

Begley said, ``Why has the RUC called on these families, where has the information come from? What is the real relationship between the RUC and the Loyalists in this area.''

``All too often in the past we have seen collusion between the RUC and Loyalist murder gangs resulting in the murder of Nationalists. How can we be sure that the same situation is not developing here in Cookstown.''
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