Adams: 'we cannot guarantee war is over'

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The Independent Online

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said that Republicans cannot guarantee the end of violence in Northern Ireland.

"It isn't within the gift of any one group to guarantee that the war is over," he said.

"I don't want the war to start again. I don't know any sensible republican who wants to see the war start again. Is that a guarantee it won't start again? Of course it isn't.

"The only guarantee is collectively for all of us to come together and to make politics work.

Adams criticised troubled David Trimble, accusing him of being a "reluctant partner" to the Belfast accord, who had failed to give direction to his Ulster Unionist Party.

"At no time did he embrace the spirit or the letter of the Agreement. Instead, throughout the last 22 months he sought to delay, dilute and to undermine the Agreement and the process of change which it involves."

He also criticised the attitudes of other unionist politicians: "For some, it is about not wanting a Catholic about the place, or being prepared to tolerate Catholics but only on unionist terms," he said.

Mr Adams said that Peter Mandelson, had to "wake up to harsh reality" that no group could guarantee the conflict was finished forever, and for the Secretary of State to ask this was "an absolute nonsense."

Democratic Unionist Nigel Dodds said Mr Adamsÿ comments were a "kick in the teeth for the whole community".

"Despite all the pay-offs, despite all the concessions, despite the elevation of Sinn Fein worldwide, we still have Gerry Adams talking in terms of a possible resumption of terrorism at some point in the future," said the North Belfast Assemblyman.

"What Adams is doing is confirming that the participation by the republican movement in the peace process is conditional.

"It is dependent entirely on the continuation of a flow of concessions which, if stopped, will put in question the long-term viability of so-called cessation."