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Time for republicans to move: Ford

September 30, 2003 12:00 AM

The Alliance Party Assembly Group met this morning to discuss the state of

the peace process.

Speaking after the meeting, Party Leader David Ford stated:

"As far as Alliance is concerned, the first and most fundamental issue to be resolved before our political process can be restored is that Republicans must indicate that there will be an end to all forms of paramilitary activity.

"There is a very real danger that Republicans will seek and will be allowed to get away with just another act of decommissioning, or repeating again that 'the conflict', defined in their terms, is over, without giving clarity on the much bigger question.

"The former are principles that Republicans have long since conceded. It has become much more apparent that the real problem is that they have been allowed to fudge democracy and violence for far too long. They have continuing to engage in a range of illegal activities such as paramilitary assaults and beatings, and exiling, while at the same time seeking to be part of government.

"The time for any transition is long since past. It is now almost a year since the Prime Minister told them that they had reached the fork in the road, and had to make the choice. Alliance demands clarity on the fundamental question of whether or not there will be an end to paramilitarism in all its forms."

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