18 June 2009

Are the Unionist Terror Groups in the North now ready to decommission their Weapons?

The Taoiseach has welcomed unconfirmed reports that Unionist terror organisations in the North have begun to decommission their weapons.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Brian Cowen (above right) stressed the need to wait for an official report from the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), which oversees the process of putting terrorist weapons 'beyond use'.

The North's First Minister Peter Robinson (left) said that his party [the DUP] would "certainly welcome any move by the organisations to decommission their weapons and cease from their paramilitary activity".
"The DUP will continue to engage with these organisations in order to impress upon them the need to leave violence and criminality behind and to complete the decommissioning process," he added.

So far unconfirmed reports from the North suggest that the chairman of the IICD, the retired Canadian General John de Chastelain, has "witnessed decommissioning acts by two Unionist terror groups", the 'Ulster Volunteer Force' (UVF) and the 'Ulster Defence Association' (UDA). Those groups were responsible for the killing of about 1000 people - most of them Catholics and Nationalists - during the 'Troubles' in the North since 1969.

Making these pro-British terrorists, who had plenty of unofficial support from the British Army and the Northern security forces in the past, to give up their weapons has been one of the most serious and significant challenges of the still evolving peace process in the North of Ireland.

These groups of thugs and fanatics are not significant political players, and this factor has made persuading them to renounce violence all the more difficult.

However, for the best part of two years considerable efforts have been made behind the scenes to cajole and pressurise the Unionist terror groups to decommission.

General John de Chastelain (right), who oversaw the long decommissioning process of the PIRA (or IRA) weapons between 2002 and 2005, was in Belfast last month.
During that time the two main Unionist terror organisations - the UVF and the UDA - have apparently put weapons "beyond use".

According to the report, they have not yet decommissioned all their weapons, but are expected to continue with the process.

Sir Hugh Orde (left), Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), hailed the possibility of Unionist decommissioning as "very good news".
"More guns are off the streets as a result of the decision by both the UDA, as I understand it, and the UVF."

The decision to decommission finally had "not come as a surprise", Orde stated. New legislation that [Britain's] Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward introduced earlier this year was giving the Unionists until August to decommission their weapons.

"I think the legislation put an additional pressure on these groups, and they have to make a decision," the PSNI Chief added.

Let us hope that the leaked - and as yet unconfirmed - news are true and will soon be verified by the IICD.

The North of Ireland has seen more than enough violence since 1969, and as the PIRA/IRA decommissioned its weapons already years ago, the Unionist terror groups - although officially on 'cease fire' - are the last obstacles on the path to a normal and civilised political system in the Six Counties.

The Emerald Islander

1 comment:

The Rebels Yell! said...

Whilst this fan fair by the national & international media circus over the loyalist parmailitary announcement is all well and good, it's nothing to write home about!! The largest loyalist group, the UDA, is still in the act of discussion on disarming their weapons with the IICD. However, not during any of the loyalist paramilitary statements on their "momentus" decision was there an apology, acknowledge or ounce of remorse shown to the near 1,000 sectarian killings they perpetrated upon the Catholic people!! So I suppose don't mention the war in the name of political progress.....

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