30 October 2003 Edition
IRA followed through
As we go to print, the IRA has issued a statement making it clear that it honoured its commitments last week to facilitate political progress. It explains the measures it took to keep those commitments and expresses annoyance that "the political process these initiatives were designed to facilitate has been halted without a credible explanation from those who stopped it", a clear reference to David Trimble and the Ulster Unionists.
The army says it is not acceptable that it honoured its commitments while others failed to fulfill theirs. This is all the more so given that a sequence of events and statements had been agreed between all parties beforehand: "These decisions were made after the UUP and the two governments had agreed to make their contributions as part of an agreed sequence. We had sight of their stated positions and they had sight of ours."
The statement reflects the feelings of anger and frustration felt by republicans across the country when David Trimble didn't follow through on what had been agreed last week, but the measured tone signals the army's continued support for the peace process.
Despite the frustration of the past week, elections are now going ahead on 26 November. It is vital that the political institutions are re-established without delay after those elections.
Sinn Féin's task is to ensure that the Assembly election result is the best it can be for republicans, delivering increased political strength.
The party will also be making it clear throughout the campaign that a review is no substitute for the institutions. The Good Friday Agreement will not be renegotiated, whatever the DUP might try to sell.
Republicans are demanding in this campaign that the Good Friday Agreement and its institutions, endorsed by the people of Ireland, be impemented in full. They will be urging voters to recognise who has been the driving force behind the peace process, who has honoured their commitments and who has not.