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Statement issued by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), 5 February 2000

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Research: Fionnuala McKenna

Statement on Decommissioning issued by the Irish Republican Army (IRA),
Saturday 5 February 2000
[The first statement was on 1 February 2000]

The British Secretary of State has accused the IRA of betrayal over the issue of decommissioning. Similar allegations have been made by others.

The British Secretary of State has now used this to threaten to collapse the political institutions. We totally reject these accusations. We have never entered into any agreement or undertaking or understanding at any time what-so-ever on any aspect of decommissioning.

We have not broken any commitment or betrayed anyone. It is the IRA who took the first step to remove the guns from Irish politics by silencing of weapons. By doing so, we created the space for the development of the peace process and for the politicians to make politics work.

Those who have once again made the political process conditional on the decommissioning of silenced IRA guns are responsible for creating the current difficulties and for keeping the peace process in a state of perpetual crisis.

The IRA believes this crisis can be averted and the issue of the arms can be resolved. This will not be on British or unionist terms, nor will it be advanced by British legislative threats.

We recognise that the issue of arms needs to be dealt with in an acceptable way and this is a necessary objective of a genuine peace process. For that reason, we support efforts to secure the resolution of the arms issue. The peace process is under no threat from the IRA.

Signed: P. O'Neill

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