British have not met commitments: IRA
In a statement issued to An Phoblacht on Tuesday evening, 5 December, the IRA reiterated its commitment to the resolution of the issue of arms and its view that this is a necessary step in a genuine peace process.
The army emphasised, however, that any resolution of the arms issue ``will not happen on terms dictated by the British Government or the Unionists''.
The IRA said that it had met all of its commitments but accused the British Government of failing to honour its commitments, notably:
The implementation of Patten.
To progressively take all the necessary steps to demilitarise the situation.
To deal with matters relating to human rights, equality and justice.
To resolve issues which remain outstanding at this stage in the development of the peace process.
``The British Government's approach to demilitarisation and their refusal to address the Good Friday Agreement's requirements for a new beginning to policing and other matters represents a failure by them to honour their commitments,'' the statement continued. ``The political responsibility for advancing the current situation clearly lies with Tony Blair, who must honour all commitments.
``The IRA has honoured its commitments and will continue to do so.''
Reacting to the statement on Wednesday, decommissioning body chair General John De Chastelain said it was a helpful move towards resolving the arms impasse. He told reporters in Belfast that he was looking forward to further cooperation with the IRA on the issue of weapons.
(Full text of IRA statement, Page 3. Political analysis p9)