Belfast Telegraph

Paramilitary watchdogs shut down

The watchdogs that oversaw the winding-down of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland have been dissolved.

The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) and the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) stewarded the dismantling of illegal arsenals and reported on the activities of republican and loyalist groups as part of the peace process.

The British and Irish governments said the two organisations had helped deliver historic change and played an important role in ending the decades of violence.

In a written ministerial statement at Westminster, Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson confirmed the planned dissolution of the organisations.

He said: "As requested by the UK and Irish governments, the IMC and IICD have provided both governments with reports on each commission's experience and lessons learned.

"Due to the pre-election period, the reports will be published after the Assembly elections in May on a date to be agreed by both governments.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the IMC and IICD commissioners and commission staff who have played a crucial part in supporting and enabling historic changes over the years, assisting in Northern Ireland's transition to a peaceful, stable and inclusive society."

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