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AROUND THE WORLD.

Northern Ireland Peace Plan Advances

A mid-November compromise over disarmament has paved the way for peace among Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. The region has been the location of some of the most religiously motivated violence in the world for 600 years, but that appears to be ready to change.

The "Good Friday" peace accord, originally reached in April 1998, laid the groundwork for the British government transferring political power back to a locally elected government in Northern Ireland for the first time since 1972.

The accord appeared to be in jeopardy when the new Northern Irish cabinet, elected in June 1998, could not take office because members of Northern Ireland's largest Protestant party, the Ulster Unionist Party, refused to serve alongside members of Sinn Fein until the Irish Republican Army began to disarm itself. But the crisis was averted Nov. 27 when the pro-British unionists voted to join with the pro-Irish republicans in a local government on the condition that the IRA commit itself to disarmament by February.
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Publication:Church & State
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:170
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