Mbeki salutes IRA disarmament

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and the ruling African National Congress have congratulated Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Northern Ireland for taking steps towards disarmament.
The IRA put an unknown quantity of its guns and explosives "beyond use" this week in a bold move to rekindle the peace process.
In an address to the National Assembly in Cape Town on Wednesday, Mbeki said the IRA's courageous and bold step had to be encouraged.
Mbeki said Adams had used his visit to South Africa last month to discuss the situation with Pretoria and had been encouraged to work towards disarmament.
The South African President said he hoped the Good Friday agreement would now be resumed, and urged other parties in Northern Ireland, including the Ulster Unionists, to follow the example set by Sinn Fein and the IRA.
The ANC said it sees the move as part of a broader collective effort to give impetus and direction to the peace process, with secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe conceding "we are acutely aware of the sensitivities surrounding a move of this nature.
" Former ANC secretary general Cyril Ramaphosa has been part of a team overseeing the decommissioning led by General John de Chastelain of Canada.

25 october 2001 17:44:00

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