Republican News · Thursday 23 July 1998

[An Phoblacht]

Observers visit Bessbrook

by Deirdre Feehan

A delegation of International Human Rights observers visited the south Armagh village of Bessbrook last weekend to see for themselves the militarisation in the area.

The delegation was given a tour of the area by local residents, members of the south Armagh Farmers and Residents Committee SDLP councillor for the area, Stephen Maginn and SF Assembly member, Pat McNamee.

The delegation was particularly interested in the High Street area were residents are effectively under curfew when the main road into the area is closed for 12 hours every day forcing people to take a two mile detour along a narrow road.

Residents expressed their concerns to the observers, explaining that British army activity and harassment has increased since the IRA cessation. One man told them, ``They are using our lives to protect them and the army base.''

International observer Carissa Zall said ``The local people have exhausted every channel that could help them but to no avail, there is no-one left for them to talk to, that is why they need people like us. The only thing that will work is international pressure.''

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