News

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s M23 rebel group has declared an end to its 20-month insurgency and said it was ready to pursue a political solution after the army captured its last two strongholds.

Freetown guerrilla `killed and ran'

THE HARDLINE guerrilla commander Sam Bockarie, blamed for holding up a peace accord in Sierra Leone, executed eight senior aides and then fled his jungle stronghold, the West African peacekeeping force Ecomog said yesterday.

Monitor: There are still pitfalls ahead

THE NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY

Letters: Obliged to disarm

ELIZABETH YOUNG and Wayland Kennet ("You thought the nuclear arms race was over? Think again", 21 November) examine the symptoms of the disease but not the cause. The world suffers from the malignant belief that the possession of nuclear weapons is a normal state of affairs instead of a deadly aberration.

Leading Article: Power-sharing, not decomissioning, will decide Ulster's future

WHEN THE political history of this week is written, it will not be Cherie's baby or Ken's candidacy that is remembered; rather, at least if the members of the Ulster Unionist Council vote yes next week, historians will be praising the successful completion of Senator George Mitchell's review of the Good Friday Agreement. Yesterday, David Trimble spoke out directly in favour of the compromise on decommissioning which he will be recommending to his party, saying that he was confident that "we have here the mechanism that will achieve that". We are already getting used to hearing such positive expressions of trust in the good faith of the IRA from Mr Trimble, but the importance of this development cannot be overstated. This is FW de Klerk coming to trust Nelson Mandela, it's Ronald Reagan working on disarmament with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Labour's secret conspiracy that never materialised

DO SOMETHING unfashionable. Look at it from Frank Dobson's point of view.

Ulster breakthrough: Dublin applauds the `vision and courage' of main parties

THE STATEMENTS from the main players in the northern Ireland peace process were broadly welcomed last night, with the Irish government describing them as "generous and visionary".

Letter: Nuclear perils

Sir: The UK has once again made contradictory statements at the United Nations in reiterating a commitment to nuclear disarmament under Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while declining to agree to specific measures to achieve that objective and stating that they would be incompatible with a "credible minimum deterrent".

Letter: Kosovo `cleansed'

Sir: May I protest against the use of the term "revenge attacks" when attacks in Kosovo by Albanians against Serbs are being reported ("Serb dies in grenade blast as ethnic Albanians step up revenge attacks", 9 November)?

Media: 1929: One woman's view of parliament

Excerpts from the first `The Week in Westminster' on 6 November 1929, presented by Mary Agnes Hamilton MP

Saint Joan launches GM crusade

The former queen of grass-roots activism has found a new target, reports Geoffrey Lean

Nato should welcome the man with the granite accent

George Robertson was pro-European and an Atlanticist, even when it was deeply unfashionable

Leader: This is the best deal the Unionists can hope for

WE DO not need to accept the Prime Minister's melodramatic suggestion that this is Northern Ireland's one and only chance of lasting peace to recognise that we have indeed come to an extraordinary moment. As Tony Blair pointed out yesterday, the republicans have moved. The Unionists scorned the description of Sinn Fein's offer as "seismic", but it is hard to avoid the - metaphorical - conclusion that the tectonic plates of Irish politics have shifted.

ULSTER PEACE TALKS: Governments greet a `useful' disarmament report

THE DE CHASTELAIN REPORT on decommissioning, published yesterday afternoon following a long wait, is viewed by the British and Irish governments as politically useful in looking ahead to both the possibility and the technicalities of disarmament.

Historic blueprint for peace offers `fresh start' to Ulster

TONY BLAIR and Bertie Ahern presented a blueprint last night designed to inaugurate nothing less than a fresh start for Northern Ireland, with a new government and complete arms decommissioning.

`Historic' offer lifts peace hopes

A DRAMATIC and possibly historic offer of arms decommissioning from Sinn Fein last night breathed life into the Northern Ireland peace talks and propelled them through the midnight deadline.
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