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Irish Republican Army (IRA) New Year Statement, 6 January 2000

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Research: Fionnuala McKenna
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Irish Republican Army (IRA) statement received by An Phoblacht /Republican News, 6 January 2000.

The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann extends New Year's greetings to our friends and supporters at home and abroad.

We send solidarity greetings to our imprisoned comrades and their families.

As we enter a New Year we reaffirm our commitment to the achievement of our objectives, the creation of a national democracy through a united, independent and free Ireland.

It remains our view that the ending of British government interference in Irish affairs offers the only basis for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in Ireland.

We have consistently demonstrated our willingness to facilitate the search for a durable peace.

On 17 November 1999, by way of further contribution to the peace process, we announced that, following the establishment of the institutions set out in the Good Friday Agreement, we would appoint a representative to enter into discussions with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). This representative has since met the IICD and further discussion will take place.

We were persuaded to take this step on the understanding that it would help end the political vacuum which had been created and maintained by unionist politicians for the previous 18 months and bring about forward political movement.

The subsequent attempt by the UUP to set preconditions on further political progress was not part of this understanding, is outside the terms of the Mitchell Review and serves only to undermine the potential for advancing the peace process.

Recent revelations surrounding British intelligence covert surveillance operations and RUC efforts to recruit informers are clear evidence of a continuation of their war against republicans.

These activities are part of an ongoing attempt to defeat republicans and subvert the existing opportunity for the achievement of a durable peace.

There can be no excuse for further delay in the implementation of those aspects of the Good Friday Agreement which are the responsibility of the British government.

Any failure on their part to rapidly implement a programme of demilitarisation can only have a negative impact on the potential for political progress and, therefore, serve the same agenda as those who continue covert surveillance operations.

The search for a durable peace has presented challenges to Irish republicans, unionists and the British and Irish governments and will continue to do so.

As we move into a new century there exists an unprecedented opportunity to leave behind the failures of the past.

The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann will continue to play a positive role in a genuine effort to realise a just and lasting peace.

P O'Niell

Irish Republican Publicity Bureau

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