Dokumentation af Irlands historie
Af Paul-Frederik Bach
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31. januar 2000:
First Decommissioning Report


Brigadier Tauno Nieminen
Andrew D.Sens

The Rt. Hon. Peter Mandelson, MP Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Belfast

Mr. John O'Donoghue, TD Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Dublin

1. In our report of 10 December, the Commission undertook to report further on decommissioning in January. This is that report. Since December, the Commission has held further discussions with representatives of the IRA, the UVF and the UFF.

2. Our previous report stated our belief that the results of the Mitchell review and the designation of IRA and UFF contacts in addition to the UVF contact already in place, gave the basis for an assessment that decommissioning will happen. While we believe that conclusion was well founded, we await further evidence to substantiate it.

3. The IRA contact has assured us of the unequivocal continuing support of his organisation for the current political process. We have been made aware of, and recognise, the difficulties facing the IRA leadership in moving on decommissioning at this time. We are also conscious that the maintenance of their ceasefire, and those of the UVF and UFF, have played and continue to play, an important part in the political advances that have been achieved to date and that are progressing. Further our contact has very recently emphasized that there is no threat to the peace process from the IRA. All of these factors are significant. But our sole task is decommissioning and to date we have received no information from the IRA as to when decommissioning will start.

4. In our most recent discussion with the UVF contact, he reminded us of the discussions he held with the Commission over a long period, including the UVF's early engagement on the issue of modalities. He has also reiterated the UVF stance that while it is prepared to consider moving on decommissioning, it will not do so until it has received an unequivocal statement from the IRA that the war is over.

5. Similarly, our most recent discussion with representatives of the UFF has confirmed their position stated during our earlier meeting, to the effect that while that group too is prepared to consider moving on decommissioning, it will not do so until it is clear that the IRA will also decommission.

6. We will continue our efforts to carry out the Commission's role in the manner and within the time-frame approved by the political parties and the two governments. However, given our understanding of the quantity of arms held by the paramilitary groups, and the dispersed nature of their locations, we believe a time will soon be reached beyond which it will be logistically impossible for us to complete our task by 22 May. We remain prepared to state, at an appropriate date, when we believe decommissioning must start and how it must proceed if our mandate is to be fulfilled within the required period. But decommissioning is a voluntary act; any schedule we produce will only be of value if those who have the arms agree to follow it.

7. The foregoing noted, intensive negotiations have taken place during the past few days. The Commission will report further to the governments in the event that ongoing negotiations lead to concrete results.

8. If it becomes clear to us that decommissioning is not to happen, the Commission will recommend to the governments that it be disbanded.

Tauno Nieminen, John de Chastelain, Andrew D. Sens

Belfast 31 January 2000

1. februar 2000:
Irish Republican Army, IRA:

The IRA were persuaded to enter into discussions with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning to help move the situation out of the political vacuum in which it had been stuck for the previous 18 months.

We did so in good faith and constructively. Our representative met with the IICD on three occasions and as late as last night we were in contact with the IICD.

Our representative stressed that we are totally committed to the peace process, that the IRA wants a permanent peace, that the declaration and maintenance of the cessation, which is now entering its fifth year is evidence of that, that the IRA's guns are silent and that there is no threat to the peace process from the IRA.

Det britiske Underhus, 3. februar 2000:
Peter Mandelson:

I first pay tribute to the way in which the new institutions have got on with their challenging tasks in the last two months.

The Assembly, the executive, the north-south bodies and the British-Irish Council are all now up and running as intended under the Good Friday Agreement.

I pay particular tribute to each of the ministers in the new devolved executive and their parties who have taken up their new responsibilities in good faith, with goodwill towards each other and a genuine determination to serve all the people of Northern Ireland.

I believe this augurs well for the long-term success of devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Late on Monday, the latest report of the independent international commission on decommissioning was delivered to the British and Irish governments.

I pay tribute to the patient efforts of the Commission members General John de Chastelain, Ambassador Andrew Sens and Brigadier Tauno Nieminen over recent months, indeed years, and their readiness to continue those efforts to secure decommissioning as intended under the Good Friday Agreement.

With the appointment of contact persons by the IRA and the UFF in December 1999, all the main paramilitary groups on ceasefire are now engaged with the Commission and that is a significant advance.

The Commission's report points to a number of other positive factors. The ceasefires remain in place. The silence of the guns and the unequivocal support of the IRA and the other paramilitary groups for the political process have played a vital part in recent political advances.

11. februar 2000:
Second Decommissioning Report

In our report of 31 January 2000, the Commission stated that intense negotiations were continuing and we would report any concrete result that came from them.

Since then, we have had several contacts with the IRA and loyalist representatives.

The IRA declaration of support for the process leading to a permanent peace in Ireland, the contribution made by the cease-fires, and the statement that the IRA provides no threat to that process are recognised.

We believe that these are important issues of considerable significance for peace and stability in Northern Ireland and they were reflected in our January 31 report.

Since December 1999, the IRA has engaged frankly and hopefully with the Commission and we note their intention to do so.

We also note the IRA assessment that the question of British forces and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland must be addressed.

While the future of British troops is outside our remit, the elimination of the threat posed by loyalist paramilitary arms is clearly within the Commission's remit.

We have been advised by loyalist representatives of their commitment to address the issue of their arms in the context of similar action taken by the IRA.

In our discussions this week with the UVF and UFF representatives, each confirmed their positions as stated in our 31 January report, and the UFF representatives further engaged with us on methods of decommissioning and related support issues.

We welcome the IRA's belief that the "state of perpetual crisis" can be averted and that the issue of arms can be resolved.

We find particularly significant, and view as valuable progress, the assertion made to us by the IRA representative that the IRA will consider how to put arms and explosives beyond use, in the context of full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and in the context of the removal of the causes of conflict.

The Commission welcomes the IRA's recognition that the issue of arms need to be dealt with in an acceptable way and that is a necessary objective of a genuine peace process and their statement that for those reasons they are engaged with us.

The Commission further welcomes the IRA's commitment to sustain and enhance its contribution to a durable peace and their statement that they have supported and will continue to support efforts to secure the resolution of the arms issue.

The representatives indicated to us today (Friday) the context in which the IRA will initiate a comprehensive process to put arms beyond use, in a manner as to ensure maximum public confidence.

The Commission believes that this commitment, on the basis described above, holds out the real prospect of an agreement which would enable it to fulfil the substance of its mandate.

We will make a further report to the two Governments as appropriate.

SIGNED: Tauno Nieminen, John de Chastelain, Andrew D. Sens

Belfast 11 February, 2000

Tuesday, February 15, 2000
IRA arms statement

On November 17 the leadership of the IRA agreed to appoint a representative to enter into discussions with the IICD (Independent International Commission on Decommissioning).

This was on the basis that it would be part of a series of events including, and in particular, the establishment of the political institutions set out in the Good Friday Agreement. This was designed to move the situation out of an 18-month impasse. This impasse was created and maintained by unionist intransigence and a failure by the British Government to advance the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The British Secretary of State has reintroduced the unionist veto by suspending the political institutions. This has changed the context in which we appointed a representative to meet with the IICD and has created a deeper crisis.

Both the British Government and the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party have rejected the propositions put to the IICD by our representative. They obviously have no desire to deal with the issue of arms except on their own terms.

Those who seek a military victory in this way need to understand that this cannot and will not happen.

Those who have made the political process conditional on the decommissioning or silenced IRA guns are responsible for the current crisis in the peace process.

In the light of these changed circumstances the leadership of the IRA have decided to end our engagement with the IICD. We are also withdrawing all propositions put to the IICD by our representative since November.

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Oprettet 12.2.2000     Opdateret d. 1.1.2009