Belfast, Northern Ireland International weapons inspectors have supervised the full disarmament of the outlawed Irish Republican Army, a long-sought goal of Northern Ireland's peace process, an aide to the process' monitor said Sunday.
The IRA permitted two independent witnesses, including a Methodist minister and a Roman Catholic priest close to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, to view the secret disarmament work conducted by officials from Canada, Finland and the United States, the aide to retired Canadian Gen. John de Chastelain said on condition of anonymity.
The office of de Chastelain, who in recent weeks has been in secret locations overseeing the weapons destruction, scheduled a news conference for today in Belfast.
The aide told The Associated Press that the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning news conference would detail the scrapping of many tons of IRA weaponry this month at a confidential location in the Republic of Ireland. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.