Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Decommission end game must tell whole truth

I refer to Brian Rowan's articles of January 7 on the end game of the IICD final report, including a full report on arms decommissioned over the past 12 years which is expected to be delivered to both governments shortly.

Mr Rowan's articles include statements by spokespersons for both the loyalist UDA and the INLA-linked Republican Socialist Movement, the thrust of which indicates that inventories of decommissioned weapons are unlikely to be released in detail, i.e. 'numbers and types of weapons' separately for each paramilitary organisation.

The statements by the UDA and INLA spokespersons would indicate a somewhat alternative view to the IICD statement given to me in February 2007 in response to an FOI inquiry: "The basis on which the PIRA agreed to enter into the decommissioning process was that the detailed inventories of their decommissioned arms would not be made public until the decommissioning of the arms of all paramilitary groups had been completed. That condition was accepted by us and by both the British and Irish Governments before decommissioning began."

Clearly this defines the format but begs the question, will the governments alter and adapt the IICD reports to suit a political agenda and thus avoid probable international ramifications on who exactly supplied and gifted what quantities and types of weapons to the various paramilitaries; who terrorised the people of Northern Ireland and further afield for over three decades. Surely it is the citizens' overriding right to be provided with full and unequivocal information?

M W WOODS

Bangor

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