Irish Republican News · July 20, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IMC claims progress on demilitarisation

The so-called Independent Monitoring Commission has drafted a propogandistic report on British demilitarisation in the North of Ireland.

The widely discredited IMC today confirmed known levels of British deployment and infrastructure in the Six Counties. It gently pointed out that “normalisation” has some distance to go.

The IMC was set up outside the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement at the behest of unionists seeking a device to exclude Sinn Féin from government. It has since operated as a P.R. vehicle of London’s Northern Ireland Office.

The report contrasts sharply with its ‘sexed-up’ account of paramilitary activity in the North earlier this year. That report led to fines being imposed on Sinn Féin and undermined the possibility of local power-sharing institutions being revived in the future.

Members include Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Commander John Grieve, former head of the anti-terrorist squad in London, Lord Alderdice, a unionist politician, and retired Irish civil servant Joe Brosnan.

The IMC has now claimed there has been significant progress in “normalising the security situation” in the Six Counties.

But it admitted that troop levels are still three times higher than the 5,000-strong garrison once promised.

“The gap between current actual deployment and the envisaged peace time level is still very wide”, it acknowledged.

Changes to anti-terrorist legislation have also been examined, with the commission reporting that a considerable body of powers are available to the PSNI.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey responded derisively to the report.

He said that ‘nationalists and republicans knew only to well the effects of Britains war machine in Ireland as they experience it on a daily basis’.

“The IMC already shown itself to be a willing tool of both the PSNI Special Branch and other securocrats within the British system.

“It operates outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and has no credibility within the nationalist and republican community.

Mr Maskey pointed out that the British government have 8,500 troops in Iraq in the middle of a war abut maintain a force of just under 15,000 in the North - almost exacty ten years after the IRA’s ceasefire.

This said much about British intent towards Ireland.

“The fact that republican heartlands are still saturated with spy posts and war apparatus almost ten years on from the IRA cessation is an indictment of the British failure to honour their commitments to demilitarise.

“Rather than wasting time engaging in a cosmetic exercise with the IMC trying to convince people that they are demilitarising it would be more appropriate for the British government to begin honouring its commitments and dismantling its war machine in Ireland.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News