New side advert

7 December 2000 Edition

Resize: A A A Print

British have not met commitments: IRA

In a statement issued to An Phoblacht on Tuesday evening, 5 December, the IRA reiterated its commitment to the resolution of the issue of arms and its view that this is a necessary step in a genuine peace process.

The army emphasised, however, that any resolution of the arms issue ``will not happen on terms dictated by the British Government or the Unionists''.

The IRA said that it had met all of its commitments but accused the British Government of failing to honour its commitments, notably:

The implementation of Patten.

To progressively take all the necessary steps to demilitarise the situation.

To deal with matters relating to human rights, equality and justice.

To resolve issues which remain outstanding at this stage in the development of the peace process.

``The British Government's approach to demilitarisation and their refusal to address the Good Friday Agreement's requirements for a new beginning to policing and other matters represents a failure by them to honour their commitments,'' the statement continued. ``The political responsibility for advancing the current situation clearly lies with Tony Blair, who must honour all commitments.

``The IRA has honoured its commitments and will continue to do so.''

Reacting to the statement on Wednesday, decommissioning body chair General John De Chastelain said it was a helpful move towards resolving the arms impasse. He told reporters in Belfast that he was looking forward to further cooperation with the IRA on the issue of weapons.

British have not honoured commitments



``The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann want to reiterate our commitment to the resolution of the issue of arms and our view that this is a necessary step in a genuine peace process.

We remain prepared to initiate a process which would completely and verifiably put IRA arms beyond use and to do so in a way to avoid risk to the public, misappropriation by others and ensure reasonable maximum public confidence.

On 6 May 2000 in a considered statement we provided a clear and reasonable context in which this could take place.

It cannot and will not happen on terms dictated by the British Government or the Unionists. A British military/securocrat agenda will not work, and should have no part in a genuine peace process.

In May we also gave a number of undertakings which were premised on the speedy and full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and other commitments made by the two Governments.

The British Government, for its part, committed itself to:

The implementation of Patten.

To progressively take all the necessary steps to demilitarise the situation.

To deal with matters relating to human rights, equality and justice.

To resolve issues which remain outstanding at this stage in the development of the peace process.

The British Government has not honoured these commitments.

The IRA re-established contact with the IICD, and put in place a confidence building measure which entailed the inspection of a number of our arms dumps by agreed third parties.

We have since facilitated a further inspection of these arms dumps. Immediately after this Cyril Ramaphosa and Martti Ahtisaari, the two agreed third parties, affirmed their conviction in the IRA's commitment to the peace process.

After this re-inspection, attempts by the leadership of the Ulster Unionists to set more preconditions on political progress have only served to compound the impasse.

We have not broken off contact with the IICD and we remain committed to discussions with them on the basis we have set out.

The British Government's approach to demilitarisation and their refusal to address the Good Friday Agreement's requirements for a new beginning to policing and other matters represents a failure by them to honour their commitments.

The political responsibility for advancing the current situation clearly lies with Tony Blair, who must honour all commitments.

The IRA has honoured its commitments and will continue to do so.''

P. O'Neill,

Irish Republican Publicity Bureau,

Dublin.

 

Onus for progress on British



Sinn Féin North Belfast Assembly member Gerry Kelly has welcomed Tuesday's IRA statement.

He described it as ``a positive development in which the IRA reasserts its May commitments while focusing on the failure of the British Government to keep its word, and the difficulties this has created''.

Kelly said: ``Despite obvious evidence of British bad faith in failing to keep commitments it made last November, and again in May, the IRA has kept to and honoured its commitments.

``The IRA believes the issue of arms can and should be dealt with as part of a conflict resolution process, and in May, in an unprecedented and historic initiative, it set out the political context in which this could be achieved.

``The British Government has not honoured its part of the deal but instead created the space for David Trimble to back-track at the Ulster Unionist Council meeting on 28 October. The British approach has sapped the potential for progress which the May agreement held.

``Tony Blair needs to unlock the door to progress which his lack of action has slammed shut. That means honouring, by word and by deed, the commitments he made last November and last May.

``That means substantial in-your-face demilitarisation.

``That means implementing the Patten Report. That will require introducing amending legislation in the British parliament. He must do this as a matter of urgency.

``The IRA has honoured all its obligations.

``It has demonstrated courage and vision. It has remained faithful to the peace process which its cessation made possible.

``The onus of responsibility for real political progress now rests with the British Government.''

GUE-NGL-new-Jan-2106

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

Powered by Phoenix Media Group