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Demilitarisation - Key Sinn Féin Demand

28 March, 2006

Commenting on the latest announcement from the British government regarding demilitarisation, Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy today said:

" Sinn Féin have been the only party who has consistently demanded that the British government remove its war apparatus from the north.

" It has always been a key element of our discussions with the British government. I have met both the British and Irish governments on this issue over a period of years.

" We have consistently called for the British government to produce a comprehensive strategy to achieve the demilitarisation of our society.

" I welcomed the start that the British government made last year to the demilitarisation process and I hope that today's moves advance that process further. I now want to see the job completed as quickly as possible."

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the issue of demilitarisation Davy Hyland today said that people in areas most affected by militarisation had to enjoy the benefits of the peace process denied to them up until now.

Mr Hyland said:

"It is now over ten years since the first IRA cessation. Yet in many areas of the six counties, particularly in South Armagh, local communities continue to be amongst the most heavily militarised in Western Europe.

"This situation was both unacceptable and untenable. It is obviously welcome that the British government are finally living up to their Good Friday Agreement commitments. However Sinn Féin will continue to keep the pressure on for the sort of process which will deliver a society free from the apparatus of war and conflict." ENDS

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