The Northern Ireland peace process and the impact of decommissioning

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Title: The Northern Ireland peace process and the impact of decommissioning
Authors: De Chastelain, John
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Date: 2001
Abstract: This paper examines the impact that the decommissioning of paramilitary arms has had, and continues to have, on the Northern Ireland peace process. It selects the beginning of the paramilitary group ceasefires in 1994 as the beginning of that pro-cess, and examines how decommissioning has affected progress in it up to the present date. It looks at the involvement of the Independent Body, the International Chairmen and the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning throughout the whole period. It notes why the unionist community seeks the decommissioning of paramilitary arms as fundamental to democratic government, and why unionists regard it as the principal issue currently preventing the full implemen-tation of the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement. It looks at why the nationalist and republican community regards as equally or more important the installation of a police force attractive to all elements of the community, and the removal of those miltary structures and installations which are offensive to nationalist feelings and deemed unnecessary while the guns of the main paramilitary groups remain silent. The paper assesses that a satisfactory conclusion to decommissioning, and to the issues of policing and demilitarisation, are fundamental to the future of an inclusive government with devolved powers in Northern Ireland, with all that that implies for an end to violence and for participatory relations North and South and East and West.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
Copyright (published version): The author, 2001
Keywords: DecomissioningPeace processNorthern Ireland
Subject LCSH: Disarmament--Northern Ireland
Paramilitary forces--Northern Ireland
Peace-building--Northern Ireland
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: Paper presented to the IBIS conference “From political violence to negotiated settlement: the winding path to peace in twentieth century Ireland”, University College Dublin, 23 March 2001.
Appears in Collections:Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS) Working Papers and Policy Papers

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