IRA weapons / Good Friday Agreement

Somewhere, somehow, I got it into my head that the Good Friday Agreement allows the IRA to report decommissioned weapons in less than explicit terms, i.e., they are within their rights to say “we disposed of a large amount of explosives,” rather than being required to say, “we dumped 724 lbs of Semtex in the Atlantic at these coordinates” or something like that.

However when I read over this text, I don’t see anything saying as much (though I could have missed it). I can’t manipulate Google into coughing up the answers either.

However again, my brain is emitting strong confidence waves in regards to my supposed “knowledge” of the terms of decommissioning. I could swear that I recently read something to the effect that the recent business of David Trimble/the UUP being upset over the refusal of the IRA to give firm numbers of how many weapons they’ve gotten rid of is ridiculous, since the IRA is not bound to give firm numbers.

Is this true? Is this false? Could someone please sort me out?

The Good Friday Agreement doesn’t require the IRA to do anything. It can’t, because the IRA didn’t sign the GFA. What the GFA does is require all of the parties to the agreement to use their influence to achieve decommissioning. The confusion is based on the assumption that Sinn Féin (who did sign the agreement) are the same organisation as the IRA, or have the power to compel the IRA to act in a certain way. Both of these assumptions are false and all the parties to the GFA know this, even if it suits them politically to pretend otherwise.

Thanks for the clarification! I think I must have read an article pointing out, as you’ve done, that the IRA aren’t bound to anything, let alone bound to full disclosure, because they didn’t sign the Agreement, and then my memory twisted the details.

The IRA are an illegal body and should be hunten down under the ‘War on terrorism’

Evil, thats all i can say.

…one mans terrorist …etc

I’m no fan of the IRA, but part of the problem here was the imperative for some sort of agreement at any price.

The thing is, the IRA sees itself, and portrays itself, as being at war with a colonialist power, and that the IRA itself is a legitamete army of recognised combatants.

This leads them to position themselves as prisoners of war when they are captured, it also means that if they were to give up weapons whilst the British do not, that this would amount to a military (and sovereign)surrender, but this philosophy also means they cannot countenance any verification process that overtly confirms the material disposed of to the British government.

So while they can allow third parties to confirm disposal of materials, that third party has to be trusted by both parties to be accurate when it state there has been a ‘substatial disposal’

This then makes for an easy political target by the Ulster Unionists as they do not have access the actual list of disposal, nor are the general public, whilst it is very likely the UK governement does know, but under secrecy terms.