27 June 2009

Unionist Terrorist Groups in the North follow the IRA's Example and put Weapons "beyond Use"

The leadership of the so-called 'Ulster Volunteer Force' (UVF) and the 'Red Hand Commando' (which is a nome-de-guerre for elements of the same organisation) have today confirmed that they have completed the process of "putting all their weaponry irreversibly beyond use".

The official announcement was made at a press conference in Belfast this morning, held by Billy Hutchinson (right), a former UVF activist who has spent time in prison for his involvement in terrorism, but who renounced violence many years ago and is now a supporter of the peace process in the North of Ireland.

The UVF declared that its weapons were "put beyond use" in conjunction with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), and in the presence of independent international witnesses.

"We have done so to further augment the establishment of accountable democratic governance in this region of the UK, to remove the pretext that loyalist weaponry is an obstacle to the development of our communities and to compound our legacy of integrity to the peace process," a spokesman of the terror group said.

The IICD, an international group of military experts and political observers which is chaired by the retired Canadian General John de Chastelain (left), confirmed the decommissioning of UVF (and 'Red Hand Commando') weapons.

In another part of Belfast the so-called 'Ulster Defence Association' (UDA), an even larger Unionist terror organisation, released a separate statement, confirming that it has now "decommissioned a portion of its arsenal" and has started a process that would lead to the destruction of all its arms.

With these announcements the Unionist (and Protestant) terror groups in the North are at last following the positive example of the Nationalist 'Provisional Irish Republican Army' (PIRA, but commonly often just called the IRA), which had already decommissioned all its weapons in several stages between 2002 and 2005.
This process was also witnessed and confirmed by General de Chastelain and other members of the IICD.

Politicians from all parties - in the North, in the Republic and in Britain - have welcomed today's announcement in a number of individual statements.

Making one of her quite rare political comments, Mary McAleese (right) - the President of the Republic of Ireland, who comes from the North herself - also welcomed the long-awaited development, which is one of the last steps in the peace process that began in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking in Dublin, the President said: "This is a very important step in building and consolidating peace in Northern Ireland. It signals a turning away from a culture of conflict towards a culture of good neighbourliness, within the North and on the entire island of Ireland."


The Wild Goose said...

Nothing can make me happier than knowing about peace in Northern Ireland. The folks of the North have been suffering for centuries. The turning to a culture of good neighbourliness is really good news for me. I hope this process will lead to a culture of fraternity on the entire island of Ireland. I guess my ancestors won't rest in peace until this happens.


Thank you very much for your comment. Coming from you, these words are even more powerful than if someone else had written them.

I do hope that your ancestors will be able to rest in peace soon, and that you will return to your ancestral lands and continue the work they were forced to abandon four centuries ago.

There is still a lot of work left to do on this very special island, and in particular in the North, the province once ruled by your ancestors.

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