'No sign IRA ceasefire under threat'

By Brian Rowan
BBC Northern Ireland security editor

This is not the first time the IRA has withdrawn a decommissioning offer.

In the past, it has broken off contact with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and taken its proposals off the table.

But the republican organisation will know that in the business of deal making, decommissioning and statements of peaceful intent will have to go back onto the political table at some time.

The proposals the IRA made before Christmas were set in the context of a comprehensive agreement - including working politics, sweeping security changes and further progress on policing.

The IRA was never going to act unilaterally, and this statement - in the context of broken-down negotiations - is not a surprise.

It is a detailed text from the IRA - running to some 67 lines - and there is nothing in it to suggest any threat to the ceasefire.

In fact, the republican organisation restates its commitment to the peace process and says it wants it to succeed.

On Thursday, Chief Constable Hugh Orde is expected to give an assessment of what is going on inside the IRA.

The security view is that while the IRA remains intact and still has the capability to carry out acts of violence, there is nothing to suggest that its ceasefire is under any threat.

Inside the IRA there is some tension over the failures of the peace process - with some holding the view that the republican organisation offered too much to try to get a deal with Ian Paisley's DUP last year.

The police have also blamed the IRA for the recent Northern Bank robbery - and the Independent Monitoring Commission is expected to endorse that security assessment in a report to the the British and Irish governments, which is due to be delivered soon.

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