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Furthermore, the British stated that any agreement will be based on "full respect for the rights and identities of both traditions in Ireland" Dunnigan Political recognition by the U. A suitable proposal by a third party eliminates the need for either belligerent to move first in offering negotiations.

In order to avoid the stigma of weakness attached to peace offers, belligerents may attempt to demonstrate strength and determination by escalating violence directly prior to or at the beginning of a peace conference. The Provisional IRA finally declared a cease-fire on August 31, in a brief, four-paragraph statement. It began:. All our units have been instructed accordingly Provisional Irish Republican Army After commending the sacrifices of Republican volunteers, the statement affirmed that "[w]e believe that an opportunity to create a just and lasting settlement has been created.

For the Provisional IRA, this cease-fire was conditional and would be honored only as long as progress was being made towards the right to self-determination asserted in the Joint Declaration. While moderate Loyalists were optimistic about the cease-fire, hard-liners saw the cease-fire as a threat to their existence. As Pillar points out: "Solutions which leave open the possibility that the enemy will eventually take power are not highly valued because they pose a risk not only to one's political goals but even to one's life.

Chapter 5. Globalization and Basque Nationalism

Belfast graffiti after the PIRA cease-fire summed up the Loyalist position: "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees in a united Ireland. The Loyalist statement, read by Gusty Spence, the former leader of the UVF convicted of murdering a Catholic man in , said: "The permanence of our cease-fire will be completely dependent upon the continued cessation of all nationalist republican violence. The sole responsibility for a return to war lies with them" UPI Newswire In early , the British and Irish governments published the Framework Document, outlining recommendations for a political settlement of the conflict in Northern Ireland Great Britain and Republic of Ireland The Framework Document satisfied neither Republicans as it contained provisions for the Unionist consent nor Unionists as it accorded too much power to Dublin.

The Framework Document was quickly shelved. Disarmament was the biggest barrier in the peace process following the ceasefires. The British government and the Unionists demanded that all-party talks must be preceded by a permanent cease-fire and decommissioning of weapons.

The Provisional IRA refused to renounce violence or to decommission their weapons. An independent disarmament commission chaired by former U. Senator George Mitchell was established by the Republic of Ireland, which is accorded a consultative role in the governance of Northern Ireland under the Anglo-Irish Agreement. All-party talks would take place after special elections to choose delegates to the all-party talks.

Essentially, the British demanded the creation of an internal political assembly in Northern Ireland as the precursor to political negotiations Editors b: A5.

Both the Republican community in Northern Ireland and the Irish government saw the creation of an internal political assembly as kow-towing to the political demands of the Ulster Unionists. The British Prime Minister was also criticized for prioritizing the coming election and retaining the voting power of the Ulster Unionist Party in the British parliament.

According to the statement: "The cessation presented an historic challenge for everyone and the IRA commends the leaderships of nationalist Ireland at home and abroad. They rose to the challenge. Later that day, the Provisional IRA detonated a 1,pound fertilizer bomb at Canary Wharf in east London, killing two people and injuring hundreds.

Despite the end of the ceasefire, the British government carried on with its pre-Canary Wharf Plan.

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Elections took place on May 30, and seated a one hundred ten member forum, to "advise" teams engaged in promised multi-party negotiations. Under the terms of the Agreement, a new Northern Ireland Assembly would be elected by proportional representation, with executive and legislative powers and safeguards to ensure its operation on the basis of cross-community support. The Good Friday Agreement sets a two-year target for full decommissioning of paramilitary arms and explosives.

It provides two possible methods of decommissioning: the provision of information to the Commission, leading to the collection and destruction of arms; and the destruction of arms by those who are in possession of them. While the British Government has taken a number of steps that indicate their intention to follow through with the letter of the Good Friday Agreement, Republicans have taken only very small steps towards decommissioning. The British government has also instituted prisoner release under the Northern Ireland Sentences Act that came into force at the end of July This Act provides for the early release of over four hundred prisoners in Northern Ireland over the next two years in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement.

Stumbling Blocks in the Ceasefire Process. From this cursory review of the events during the cease-fire process, the unwillingness of the Provisional IRA to decommission their weapons in light of the British quid pro quo de-escalation of security measures and withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland seems like pure folly. Surely, the British are playing fair? The rise of hard-line paramilitary splinter groups like the Real IRA is also perplexing.

The answer to the last question goes straight to the heart of issues central to Republican political identity. The unwillingness of the Republican movement to extend any trust to the British government can be explained by sketching briefly the history of IRA ceasefires. The present ceasefire is the most recent in a long series.

In addition to the three-day Christmas truces declared annually since , bilateral cease-fires occurred in and During the hungerstrike, PIRA declared a cease-fire so that the deaths of the hungerstrikers would not be overshadowed by other military actions. From a Republican perspective, the British were responsible for breaking these ceasefires.

The settlement negotiations following these ceasefires all involved the same basic Republican demands: public recognition of the right of the Irish people to decide the future of Ireland, a declaration of intention to withdraw British troops, and the grant of a general amnesty for political prisoners Finn The expectation of eventual victory almost certainly inhibited the British desire for cease-fire Smith A major factor underlying Republican resistance to the declaration of a permanent cease-fire was their perception of Britain as perfidious and double-dealing. According to Adams ,. It has never engaged in a truce with the serious intention of considering or conceding the republican demands.

The Provisional IRA, like many belligerents considering ceasefires, were concerned that a ceasefire would put them in a worse position and the British in a better position if fighting resumed Smith It is not unusual for belligerents to take advantage of cease-fires to regroup and rearm. In international law, this is generally viewed as a legitimate practice. Since wars are legally ended only by formal peace treaties, this continuation of war by other means is, in a sense, legitimate Smith Ceasefires "may simply fix the conditions under which the fighting will be resumed, at a later date, and with a new intensity" Bailey 3.

Martin McGuinness, who negotiated the truce and was instrumental in the most recent cease-fire, resolved after the breach that "from [then] on there could be no question of an end to the violence until the ink on the treaty of withdrawal was dry" Bishop and Mallie Although the Provisional IRA declared a "complete cessation of military operations," they did not affirm that it would be permanent.

Following the announcement of the cease-fire, Major requested an assurance that it was, indeed, permanent. A number of cultural and historical factors underlie PIRA's unwillingness to declare a "permanent" cease-fire. Following the Loyalist cease-fire, Gerry Adams pointed out that "[t]he British government is now the only agency with armed forces under its control which has not ceased its military activity" U.

By declaring a permanent ceasefire, the Republican movement would receive nothing but further assurances. The second factor militating against declaring a permanent ceasefire concerns the basic political philosophy of the Republican movement.

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The Republican philosophy of armed struggle is based on the notion that only force will compel Britain to leave Ireland. There is the implication that since Britain has not withdrawn its troops, "by giving up force Dunnigan and Martel 41 refer to this problem as "entrapment:" belligerents locked into a confrontation believe that they have invested too much labor in establishing an international support network, the acquiring and hiding of arms shipments, organizing the required military training and political education of its members.

On October 22, Prime Minister John Major announced that he would accept the current cease-fire and that the ceasefire now being observed by both sides is "intended to be permanent. According to Major: "I am now prepared to make a working assumption that the cease-fire is intended to be permanent According to Adams : "It was up to the IRA to hold their own consultations and come to their own decision.

Globalization and Nationalism

I would have respected whatever decision they took. Organizationally, ASUs are a cell structure rather than a traditional military hierarchy. While this structure protects PIRA from infiltration and prevents any one person from knowing too much, it also limits the control that the Army Council actually has over the members.

This organizational structure has implications for the cease-fire negotiation process since "at a pure logistical level, a belligerent may actually be unable to cease fire because it cannot control the military forces which purport to fight for it" Smith In the case of the Provisional IRA, a number of infringements since the cease-fire point to the unauthorized use of violence by volunteers who are dissatisfied with the negotiation strategy.

During an armed robbery of a post office in Newry on November 11, , a postal worker named Frank Kerr was killed Melaugh After denying that it has authorized any use of weapons since the cease-fire, PIRA acknowledged ten days later that its members were responsible, although the robbery had not been "sanctioned" by PIRA leaders. Perhaps one of the most serious stumbling blocks to the ceasefire is the resistance to political settlement within the Republican movement itself.

In many paramilitary organizations, hard-line military factions are likely to be skeptical about the political process, and to view negotiation as capitulation. Even at that time, military factions within PIRA saw the ceasefire declaration as a betrayal of the Republican movement. Ruairi O'Bradaigh, IRA chief during the s, told the Belfast Telegraph that the leadership has been "constitutionalized," meaning that political process has replaced armed struggle to an unacceptable degree. But in the nature of the long struggle, he said, another group would rise up to take its place Tuohy b: A1.

Another group did, in fact, rise up to take the place of PIRA.


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Decommissioning of Weapons. The British government has consistently insisted on the decommissioning of the weapons before all-party peace talks. Michael Ancram, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated that "peace without fundamental solutions is not a permanent peace. So we ask those with arms, 'If you are committed to peace permanently, why do you need a vast arsenal? Loyalists have also consistently refused to negotiate with PIRA without prior weapons decommissioning.

As long as they can turn on terror, we are not playing on a level field" Montalbano A1. Despite demands from all sides, the Provisional IRA has consistently refused to decommission its weapons. For the Provisional IRA, decommissioning amounted to a form of military surrender that it was unprepared to undertake Editors c: A According to Gerry Adams, "The British government is not simply interested in a gesture.


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According to Gerry Adams 50 , "the circumstances which shaped the recent support for the IRA are, above all, the experience of the barricade days from The current expectation that PIRA will abandon its weapons runs counter to the fundamental worldview of Republicans -- that their communities are besieged by hostile British and Loyalist forces and that the only defense they can expect is what they themselves provide.

The statement described the Northern Ireland peace deal as significant, but said it fell short of "presenting a solid basis for a lasting settlement.