Author Topic: Northern Ireland In Limbo Again: IRA Has Withdrawn Its Offer To Decommission  (Read 64 times)

Don Rizzle

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IRA withdraws weapons commitment
The IRA has withdrawn its offer to complete the decommissioning process.
In a statement passed to the An Phoblacht newspaper, the organisation said it had taken the offer to put its weapons beyond use off the table.

Last year, the IRA said it would complete the decommissioning process within weeks and move into what it called a new mode.

However, Wednesday's statement said the British and Irish governments had "tried its patience to the limit".

A Downing Street spokesman said they were not surprised by the statement.

"The fact remains that it was the IRA that did carry out the Northern Bank robbery and as the prime minister and the taoiseach said on Tuesday therefore it is the IRA that is the sole obstacle to moving forward," he said.

 This negative approach has effectively scuttled the enormous work done in persuading the IRA to undertake unprecedented initiatives
Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein leader 

However, the spokesman made it clear the government does not interpret the statement as a threat to return to terrorism.

The IRA has denied any involvement in the £26.5m bank raid in Belfast last December.

Wednesday's statement said: "Our initiatives have been attacked, devalued and dismissed by pro-unionist and anti-republican elements, including the British government. The Irish government have lent themselves to this.

"At this time it appears that the two governments are intent on changing the basis of the peace process. They claim that 'the obstacle now to a lasting and durable settlement is the continuing paramilitary and criminal activity of the IRA'. We reject this."

DUP leader Ian Paisley said the statement proved the IRA never had any intention of decommissioning in a credible, transparent and verifiable way.

"They never had any intention of giving up their criminal empire. That is why they walked away from the table last year," he said.

"The IRA had better realise that we will not be bullied or threatened and we will accept nothing less than the complete and utter end of all terror and criminal activity and the decommissioning of all their illegal weaponry in a transparent manner."

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the statement was "evidence of a deepening crisis", one which he very much regretted.

"The two governments have opted for confrontation. They are engaging in the sterile politics of the blame game without any regard for the consequences," he said.

"This negative approach has effectively scuttled the enormous work done in persuading the IRA to undertake the unprecedented initiatives which they publicly outlined in December."

Senior Ulster Unionist assembly member Michael McGimpsey said the government must face this threat down.


"The IRA are attempting to throw down the gauntlet to both governments with this statement. It is a crude, thinly veiled threat.

"It is now up to those who support the democratic process, including the Prime Minister and Taoiseach to stand shoulder to shoulder and face this threat down."

SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell said the statement offered nothing new from the IRA.

"Instead of facing up to the huge damage done to the peace process by the IRA Northern Bank raid, they are engaging in blatant sabre-rattling and wrecking the Agreement further," he said.

"We cannot allow the IRA to stand in the way of change and progress for all of us."

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Tony Blair said that ongoing IRA activity was the "obstacle to a lasting and durable settlement in Northern Ireland".

He was speaking after meeting Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at Downing Street to assess their political options in the wake of the 20 December raid.

Last November, the IRA agreed to allow a Protestant and a Catholic churchman to witness any future decommissioning of its weapons as part of proposals to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland.

However, the plan was abandoned after the Democratic Unionist Party demanded photographic proof of decommissioning, a demand deemed "unachievable" by republicans.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Its a shame i thaught we were so close to having the northern ireland conflict resolved. There can never be a credible stable government where the IRA is involved and Sinn Fein need to cut its connection to them now or I can't see things progressing anymore.

iraq would just get annexed by iran

That would be a great solution.  If Iran and the majority of Iraqi's are pleased with it, then why shouldn't they do it?

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