IRA decommissions more weapons

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The Independent Online

The IRA announced today it had put more of its weapons beyond use.

The IRA announced today it had put more of its weapons beyond use.

A second act of decommissioning was confirmed in a statement which claimed the move was unilateral.

The Provisionals said: "It could be argued that the IRA should not take such an initiative, but it is precisely because of this that an initiative has been undertaken so that the peace process can be stabilised, sustained and strengthened."

Last October the IRA agreed to disarm some of it guns and explosives at two secret arms dumps.

No details were released today on how much weaponry was decommissioned in this second act which the Provisionals claimed could cause them some problems among supporters.

It followed a series of meetings between their representatives and General John de Chastelain, head of the international decommissioning body, which is overseeing the process.

The IRA statement added: "This is a leadership initiative. We are relying on the discipline and commitment of our support base, and our volunteers. We remain committed to achieving our republican objectives."

The republican leadership is under pressure at home and in America following the arrests in Colombia last August of three IRA suspects allegedly involved in the training of FARC rebels.

But the second act of decommissioning will be well received in London, Dublin and Washington.

The IRA statement added: "However, the securing of a democratic peace settlement is not solely a task for Irish republicans and we are mindful of the primary obligation of the British Government, and of the unionist leadership.

"The process can work if there is the political will to make it succeed. The IRA has once again demonstrated that will."

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