Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has expressed disappointment at the lack of clarity and firmness from the Governments with respect to what is required from any IRA statement, especially in the context of what appears to be increased procrastination by that organisation.
David Ford stated:
“There seems to be increased apprehension regarding what may be contained or rather not contained in the long expected statement from the IRA.
“Certainly, the continued procrastination from that organisation is not encouraging. What is necessary from all paramilitary groups should be pretty clear by now. The time for any transition should be long since past. Indeed, the Governments and those parties abiding to commitments to peace and democracy should be setting the agenda rather than the paramilitary groups and their associates.
“To date, only Alliance has made any effort to set out in detail what should be expected from any paramilitary group, whether Republican or Loyalist, to become players in the political process.
“Alliance has published ten benchmarks for assessing the text of any IRA statement and the follow-up actions or rather lack of actions. These are not part of some draconian agenda but the essence of what is required to build a normal society.
“Furthermore, it is important that the Republican Movement is not allowed to drag out the process of change on the back of any statement, but makes the necessary moves and commitments over a short period of time.
“Surely, if there is be a sustainable peace process in the future, it needs to be based on solid foundations. Otherwise, we will be doomed to yet more stop-start politics.
“While the Governments have acknowledged Alliance’s points, it is disappointing that there is not a degree of clarity and firmness coming from the Governments and indeed the other parties in Northern Ireland.