South Africa Welcomes the Irish Republican Army's (IRA's) Decommissioning of its Weapons

Tshwane: The South African government joins the international community in welcoming the courageous decision by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to decommission all its arms beyond use. This follows the report from the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) that the IRA's arsenal of weapons, explosives and ammunition has been put beyond use.

President Mbeki stated that "On this historic occasion, South Africa pays tribute to the IRA and the peace-loving people of Northern Ireland for this demonstration of their commitment to peace. The President reiterated what he expressed on the 28th July 2005, that "one can now be more optimistic than ever, that the process to peace in this lovely island will be steady and successful". President Mbeki further added that "all arms in the hands of other parties must now be decommissioned and all para-military activity brought to an end."

In South Africa's view, the completion of the IRA decommissioning offers a ground-breaking opportunity for progress in building lasting peace in Northern Ireland and must be acknowledged and commended.

Issued by: Nomfanelo Kota at 082 459 3787

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag x 152

27 September 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa