IRA CALLS FOR COMMITMENTS TO BE FULFILLED
The IRA tonight called for a deal involving the Ulster
Unionists and the British and Irish governments, which
dramatically collapsed last week agreed, to be honoured in
In their third statement on the process in eight days, the IRA
said they had put "the largest amount of arms to date" beyond
use last week to boost the process.
But they accused Ulster Unionist leader Mr Trimble of failing
to keep to his side of the deal and giving them no "credible
explanation" as to why he did so.
The statement said the arms move was part of an agreed
sequence of actions involving the Ulster Unionists, Sinn Fein,
the IICD arms body and the British and Irish governments.
The IRA said: "The political process these initatives were
designed to facilitate has been halted without a credible
explanation from those who stopped it.
"The leadership of the IRA honoured our commitments. Others
have not fulfilled theirs. This is totally unacceptable.
"When we give our word, we keep it. We expect others to do the
"Until they do so, there can be little prospect of progress on
the issues they profess concern about."
However, the IRA did not say that it had broken off contact
with the Independent International Commission on
Decommissioning (IICD), or that the process in which they are
involved has been suspended.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has accentuated the positive, stressing
the value in the talks which have taken place. The party's
Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has said yesterday that
"the new relationship between the UUP and Sinn Fein is
something which holds great potential for the future".
"We have been able to sit down and talk through the difficult
issues," Mr McGuinness said. "Unfortunately the UUP were not
prepared to move forward at this time but real progress was
made and we will return to this work after the election."
All sides have agreed that negotiations would be put on hold
until after the election. The Irish and British governments
yesterday stressed that they would seek to revive the peace
process deal as quickly as possible, so as to enable local
power-sharing government to be restored to the Six Counties.
Mr McGuinness said that "despite the present difficulties, the
dialogue between Unionism and republicanism must be built
upon. It is key to a new, shared and peaceful future.
"Our troubled history has left a legacy of division and
mistrust on this island. These are real problems. But Sinn
Fein sees these as difficulties to be overcome. We approach
them as problem-solvers and with a realistic sense of what is
"Sinn Fein is not going to walk away from the difficult
issues. Nor will we be deflected by those who have done
nothing over recent weeks except criticise our efforts.
"In the meantime the two governments must fulfil their part of
the agreement in terms of honouring the commitments which they
There has been no word yet from the governments regarding the
moves on human rights, language issues, demilitarisation and
policing and justice reform which, it is understood, were to
be part of last week's deal.
The two governments, in common with Sinn Fein and the Ulster
Unionists, have exercised restraint in their rhetoric and
expressed hope that the deal can be salvaged following next
Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, said in the British
parliament today that it was "highly desirable" that the IRA
should now engage with the IICD "to repair the mistakes that
He said: "If the sequence, which it was necessary for me to
put on hold last Tuesday, is at any point in the future to be
resumed and carried through, it would be essential that
through the next few weeks during the election campaign that
republicans should abide very clearly by the commitments to
peaceful means that they made at that stage."