[Sinn Fein]

19 November 1997

No change on ground to Britain's militarisation strategy

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speaking at Rotterdam University today, said:

``Any threat to the peace process comes not from Republicans but from the refusal of the Unionists to engage in the negotiations process and from the failure of the British government to rein in those within its establishment who continue to pursue a military agenda. Their actions have ensured that there has been no change on the ground to Britain's militarisation strategy.

Mr. Adams said:

``The unionists have so far failed to engage in the talks. They have demonstrated no political will to engage on the substantive issues. They appear, instead, to be utterly wed to the old failed agenda; they are opposed to change, and to secure that goal means subverting the peace process. They must not be allowed to succeed.

``Moreover, events on the ground have not seen any change in British security policy. There has been no movement on prisoners; raids continue; harassment continues; the recruitment of informers continues; surveillance and targeting continues; the militarising of nationalist areas continues - witness the new 6 million barracks overlooking Ballymurphy and Springhill. What of Colin Duffy ?

``Four months into this cessation what we need are confidence building measures not confidence eroding measures. The two governments have to give a lead - especially the British government. The British government needs to replace the current security agenda, with a political agenda which builds confidence. People need to see that events on the ground are changing and for the better. This also means moving on equality issues, and on demilitarisation issues, and especially the issue of prisoners.''

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