Ceasefire call dismissed

A senior Derry republican has challenged a call from local politicians for armed groups to end their campaign, urging politicians instead to “address the causes of conflict rather than vilifying those who are engaged in it”.

Gary Donnelly, a leading member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, said the politicians’ appeal would fail.

“There is nothing new in constitutional nationalists and unionist parties calling for an end to military resistance to British rule.

“There have also been similar appeals from Popes, presidents, trade unionists and Peace People in the past and their call was not answered and I’d imagine that this call will meet with a similar response.

“People with influence would be better suited to address the causes of conflict rather than vilifying those who are engaged in it. If this does not happen we will be going round in circles and we will repeat the mistakes of the past 800 years.

“These people have called on groups to lay down their guns but what they do not mention is that most of the weapons seen on the streets of Derry are being carried by members of the British colonial police force.

“Those making these calls are strangely quiet when it come to calls for these guns to be laid down,” he said.

In a joint New Year statement in Derry signed by senior members of the SDLP, Sinn Fein, DUP and UUP, politicians called on dissidents to “put away your weapons and join with us in making this a better city for all”.

“Irrespective of political differences, 2011 will be the year we commit to working together.”

“We invite every citizen to work with us to create the conditions for a shared city life in this culturally vibrant city.”

The signatories included Foyle MP Mark Durkan and East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell.

Speaker of the House William Hay and assembly members Martina Anderson and Raymond McCartney from Sinn Fein and the SDLP’s Pat Ramsey and Pol Callaghan also signed the statement, as did UUP councillor Mary Hamilton.

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