02 February 2006

Hopes for North progress fading after latest IMC report


02/02/2006 - 08:38:08

Hopes for a speedy return to power-sharing in the North are fading today amid fresh recriminations over the latest Independent Monitoring Commission report.

The body set up to oversee paramilitary ceasefires said yesterday that it believed the IRA was genuinely moving towards an exclusively political strategy.

However, the IMC also said there were credible reports that the organisation had retained some guns despite saying that it had completely disarmed last year.

This conclusion has been disputed by the decommissioning body, which carried out its own investigation and found no evidence to back up the claims, which came from unnamed security sources in the North.

The IRA has also insisted that it has lived up to all its public commitments, while Sinn Féin has accused the IMC of pursuing an anti-republican agenda.

The Democratic Unionist Party, meanwhile, says the matter vindicates its refusal to accept IRA decommissioning or to share power with republicans.

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