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IRA dead as 'war machine,' Britain says

IRA dead as 'war machine,' Britain says

The Irish Republican Army has transformed itself fundamentally and no longer poses any terrorist threat to Northern Ireland, the province's secretary of state said Wednesday shortly before the publication of a report on IRA peace moves.
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain called on leaders of the province's British Protestant majority "to recognize that the paramilitary situation, in particular the situation of the IRA, has changed absolutely fundamentally and radically."
"Is there now a security threat from the IRA? The answer's no," Hain said, adding: "I do not believe anybody thinks that the IRA can come back as a war machine. That is over for them, they have chosen a different, democratic path."
Hain spoke hours before the expected publication of a report from the Independent Monitoring Commission, a four-man expert panel formed by the British and Irish governments to assess the activities of the IRA and other outlawed groups in Northern Ireland.
Widespread leaks of the report's findings conclude that IRA commanders have fully honored their July 2005 declaration calling a formal end to the group's campaign to overthrow Northern Ireland by force.
Leaked report details include findings that the IRA has disbanded its bomb-making unit, is no longer recruiting or training members, no longer gathers intelligence on the movements of police and British soldiers, and is no longer trying to smuggle weapons.
Britain and Ireland have timed the publication of the report in hopes of boosting progress in a negotiating summit Oct. 11-13 involving Protestant leaders and Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked party that represents most of Northern Ireland's Catholic minority. Both governments have given the rival factions a Nov. 24 deadline to revive a power-sharing administration, the central goal of the 1998 peace accord for Northern Ireland.
A previous administration collapsed in 2002 amid chronic tensions between Protestants and Sinn Fein. The major Protestant-backed party, the Democratic Unionists, says it will not cooperate with Sinn Fein until that party drops its policy of refusing to cooperate with Northern Ireland's police force.
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On the Net:
http://www.independentmonitoringcommission.org


Updated : 2021-07-29 08:29 GMT+08:00