Category: Archive

IRA ceases training, recruitment: IMC

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

In stark contrast, the Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, speaking in South Africa, has underlined his party’s commitment to working with unionists, explaining they are “afraid they will lose out economically and politically; that the traditional roles will be reversed.
“Irish republicans will not condone or be part of such developments,” he said, “The underpinning principle which guides our politics is equality. This means working in partnership with those unionists who will work with us.”
He was speaking within days of the Independent Monitoring Commission reporting that, since the IRA statement of July 28 “dumping arms,” it had ceased many activities including training and recruitment.
These were encouraging signs, said the IMC, while a further report in January would be needed to make definitive conclusions about the IRA’s full compliance with the British and Irish governments’ demand for a complete end to all military activity.
The IMC’s report said the IRA’s intelligence function remained active but that its focus “may be becoming more political” and that it had wanted the summer’s marching season to pass without civil disorder, taking steps to quell nationalist anger.
It said, however, that it was “looking for cumulative indications of changes in behavior over a more sustained period of time, building on the PIRA statement of July 28 and the decommissioning of weapons reported by the IICD (Independent International Commission on Decommissioning) on Sept. 26.”
The Commission’s report is seen as a potentially vital kick-start to a series of moves by Dublin and London intended to create the conditions for the restoration of power sharing in the New Year.
The Irish minister for foreign affairs, Dermot Ahern, and the British Northern secretary, Peter Hain, both welcomed the report but said more time was needed to ascertain if the IRA had definitively ended all violence.
Both agreed that the IRA declaration had been a “sea change” but that unionist resistance was understandable and more assurances were needed. London is, however, recommending the full restoration of all Sinn Fein’s Stormont and Westminster funding, to the DUP’s fury.
The Republic’s minister for justice, Michael McDowell, normally a trenchant critic of the IRA and Sinn Fein, said that, taken with the IRA statement and its final act of final decommissioning “there does appear to be the potential for a huge transformation… and a full return to representative politics.”
Sinn Fein’s Newry and Armagh MP, Conor Murphy, said the IRA had fulfilled all of the commitments made in its July statement. “The DUP must now decide if they are to come on board the peace process,” he said.
The Commission had little good to say about the actions of loyalist groups. All the paramilitary murders in the North since last March have been carried out by loyalists, it concluded.
The UVF continues to recruit, it says, and it is also involved in “organized crime including drugs” while remaining “active, violent, and ruthless.” The report said the UDA had been involved in spying on republicans and targeting police and prison officers.
The report stuck by its recommendation for financial sanctions against the UVF’s political wing, the Progressive Unionist Party.
London has not withdrawn the party’s

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