Sinn Fein Leader Pledges Full Disarmament of the I.R.A.
The Irish Republican Army will disarm fully as part of the Northern Ireland peace settlement if the other parties to the accord fulfill their obligations, Gerry Adams, president of the guerrilla group’s political arm, Sinn Fein, said today. Mr. Adams gave the pledge in a speech responding to complaints from Prime Minister Tony Blair that the I.R.A. had failed to make its commitments to nonviolence clear and unambiguous in a confidential statement it submitted to the British and Irish governments earlier this month. Dublin and London, co-sponsors of the 1998 peace agreement, are holding back a final blueprint addressing Sinn Fein demands until they have such assurances from the I.R.A. Last week, Mr. Blair said at a Downing Street news conference that the I.R.A.’s failure to convince doubters that it would dismantle its secret arsenal, halt its paramilitary activity and declare its decades-long war with Britain at an end had become the sole obstacle to a lasting peace in the province. Full Story