[Sinn Fein]

25 November 1997

Reduction in Crown Force patrolling does not go far enough

Sinn Fein Northern Chairperson Gerry O hEara has said that any reduction in the intensity of Crown Forces patrolling our streets is a step in the right direction but this latest move does not go far enough.

Mr. O hEara said:

``While this announcement is a step in the right direction it falls short of what is required. Four months into a disciplined IRA cessation, nationalists deserve to see tangible moves towards total demilitarisation .

``The removal of troops in West Belfast during daylight hours is not what the people of West Belfast or indeed anywhere else in the six-counties want. We want to see the immediate recall of all troops to barracks pending their withdrawal to their home bases in Britain.

``It is not good enough that these troops are able to continue their harassment in West Belfast after dark and 24 hours a day elsewhere in the Six-Counties.

``The decision reflects the influence of the securocrats who are driving a military agenda in the NIO. It is time the politicians took the driving seat instead of allowing those with a vested interest in conflict to decide the route.

``Another lesson for nationalists in the decision is that any positive move from the British side will only come under protest.''

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