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Experts say IRA committed to peace, no longer trains units in bomb-making, arms smuggling

Experts say IRA committed to peace, no longer trains units in bomb-making, arms smuggling

The Irish Republican Army has stopped recruiting members and shut down units responsible for bomb-making and weapons smuggling, an expert panel reported Wednesday in findings designed to spur a revival of Catholic-Protestant cooperation in Northern Ireland.
The British and Irish governments warmly welcomed the findings of the Independent Monitoring Commission, a four-man panel that includes former directors of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the anti-terrorist unit of Scotland Yard.
It reported that the IRA _ which last year declared a formal end to its campaign to overthrow Northern Ireland by force _ had followed through on that historic pledge by shutting down key units that, from 1970 to 1997, oversaw attacks that claimed 1,775 lives and maimed tens of thousands more.
"PIRA has taken further steps to run down its terrorist capability," the commission said, using the group's full formal name of Provisional IRA. "It has disbanded 'military' structures, including the General Headquarters departments responsible for procurement, engineering and training, and it has stood down volunteers (rank-and-file members) and stopped allowances (payments)."
In Dublin, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said the findings of the Independent Monitoring Commission "are of the utmost importance and significance."
In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the report "does lay the basis for the final settlement of the conflict in Northern Ireland."


Updated : 2021-05-08 00:44 GMT+08:00