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Ira Ends Armed Campaign


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
The Irish Republican Army yesterday announced it will abandon its armed campaign and resume disarmament in a dramatic declaration designed to revive Northern Ireland's peace process.

The IRA said all of its clandestine units had been ordered to dump their arms and cease all activities, effective from 1500 GMT yesterday, but it would not formally disband.

"The leadership has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign," the IRA said in a major advance from its open-ended truce in place since 1997.

"All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever," the IRA command said in remarks addressed to the group's approximately 500 to 1,000 members.

The IRA statement said John de Chastelain, a retired Canadian general who since 1997 has been trying to persuade the IRA and other illegal groups to disarm, would be invited to decommission more hidden weapons bunkers soon. It said a Catholic priest and Protestant minister would be invited to witness the scrapping of weapons.

The IRA also appealed to Britain and Northern Ireland's Protestant majority to accept its new position as sufficient to resume negotiations on power-sharing, the core goal of the 1998 peace accord for this British territory.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the IRA's statement that it would end its armed campaign.