Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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British Army In Full Retreat

The people of South Armagh wonder if they live in an alternative reality to the politicians in this country. Perhaps Mr Hain should try and live in South Armagh rather than pretending a few minutes of a walk around in Crossmaglen gives him the right to speak about security there. In his rushed visit it was doubtful that anyone recognised him as he used this stunt to cover his treachery this week. Despite the spin and hype from the NIO, MoD and PSNI the reality in South Armagh does not change for those who live there. We challenge anyone who is advocating the destruction of security to walk a week in the shoes of the minority community there.

As a group we are disgusted with the latest appeasement to terrorists the destruction of the RIR. They will be disbanded in a hasty process which will be public transparent verifiable and timed. However the PIRA has refused to do likewise, it remains intact and operational holding its arsenal and calling the shots. The quisling politicians have once more caved in and betrayed the trust of the Ulster people. This treachery will not be accepted as we for one intend to challenge it. We are presently taking legal advice to explore how best to stop this current process. It is a breach of the government's obligations under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The state has an obligation to protect the lives of its citizens and they have broken that in a criminally irresponsible act of appeasement. They have tasked the IMC to provide analysis of the security situation and any improvements; they have not had time to do this and will not have a meaningful report until January next year. Therefore the government should not have acted until then. These moves taken prior to the publication of the IMC Report are disgraceful and must be challenged. We will be appealing to the unionist political parties to assist us in our legal challenge. They have all voiced opposition. Now we will see if they will match their words with actions.

The government is destroying the most effective weapon they have against terrorism. This is being done in the face of the reality on the ground. On the day that work commenced on the Newtownhamilton sanger we conducted a press conference. The event was disrupted by helicopter activity as a two person police patrol and army cover was airlifted to another part of South Armagh. As if to underscore our case which was pointing out that the police still cannot travel the roads of South Armagh safely the security operation which occurs daily proved our point. Again over the weekend members of the community were enjoying a sports evening at Tullyvallen which while close to the border is less that two miles from a police station. Security had to once more be flown into the area to guard the community.

It is disgusting to see the GOC and Chief Constable trying to say that the situation has improved, if it has let us see him commit his men throughout South Armagh in vehicles or foot on exercise as he could anywhere else in the United Kingdom. Until then don't try and tell us that things are fine. It appears that the NIO has got another political puppet to join the Chief Constable; perhaps Reddy Watt should change his name to Yellow if he is so keen to surrender to the terrorists! We will no longer allow spineless British governments or their security puppets to play politics with our lives. We have seen the legacy of previous attempts such as in 1975. Our community are remembering the atrocities that were committed by the PIRA during a period of so-called peace under the cover of dissident republic groups. We will not sit back and allow that to be repeated.

The destruction of the RIR like the UDR and B-Specials before is an act of political appeasement. These legal, honourable forces have all been disbanded while the PIRA continues to exist. This will stand as a black day in the annals of the history not only of Ulster but of democracies everywhere. To add insult to this injury the London government wishes to retain the services of men and women from Northern Ireland in the army overseas. While their families are insulted and left defenceless at home our brave young men and women are expected to serve across the world in the selective war on terrorism. We call upon them to refuse, to resign and return to their homes. Why should they risk their lives for Tony Blair and his Vichey regime in London. If the RIR is to go then it should all go; we will not have its memory dishonoured by allowing our sons to continue to be used as cannon fodder for England's foreign wars.


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