[Sinn Fein]

11 December 2000

British Army rearguard action needs to be challenged

Sinn Fein Newry & South Armagh MLA Conor Murphy has called for the Irish government to keep challenging the rearguard action being fought by the British Army to block commitments given by the British government in May this year and last November on demilitarisation.

Mr Murphy said:

``The issue of British Army Spyposts and increased helicopter and British Army activity on the ground and demilitarisation need to be addressed.

``The rearguard action being fought by the British military establishment also needs be challenged increased British Army activity, Spy posts and massive military barracks were certainly not what people on the ground expected after the Hillsborough initiative in May.

``This line of action does nothing to further the peace process and only supports the arguments of those who wish to demonstrate that politics is not able to provide progress. It is time for Tony Blair to face down the securocrats who are dominating the demilitarisation debate.

``Mr Blair needs to take heed of what both Bertie Ahern and ourselves are saying. It is time that the British government started living up to its' commitments on demilitarisation. It is also vitally important that the Irish government continue to challenge the rearguard action being fought buy the Britsih Army.''

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