- Created: Thursday, 07 May 2009 15:20
- Written by FRFI
FRFI 153 February / March 2000
Decommissioning: a temporary crisis?
David Trimble and the Ulster Unionist Party, in agreeing to the Mitchell Review and the process that led to the setting up of the Northern Ireland Executive, set themselves a deadline of February for the IRA to begin decommissioning. If decommissioning has not begun by the time their leadership council meet on 12 February, then they threaten to withdraw from the executive. This deadline comes after the first report on the decommissioning process by General John de Chastelain, expected on 31 January. The Peace Agreement itself has set May as the date by which decommissioning should have been completed.
The announcement by Peter Mandelson on 19 January that the British government was going to implement almost all of Chris Patten's recommendations on the reform of the RUC infuriated unionists. The changes, which will be introduced in the autumn, will alter the name of the RUC to the 'Police of Northern Ireland'; do away with its crown and harp cap badge; reduce the number of police from 13,500 to 7,500; set up a new police board with two Sinn Fein members on it and attempt to recruit more Catholic members.