Northern Ireland loyalists get rid of their weapons
Sunday 28 June 2009
In a move hailed as momentous, loyalist organisations in Belfast announcedyesterday that they are abandoning the weaponry they used to kill a thousand people in the Northern Ireland troubles.
Although there was little or no sense of celebration in Belfast, the development was generally regarded as an important milestone in the peace process.
The organisations involved, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Association, are the most important groupings in the loyalist paramilitary underworld.
The UVF declared that all its guns had been rendered "totally and irreversibly beyond use", adding: "The war is over; the weapons have been pitched beyond use and we move on."
The UDA said it had decommissioned some guns and intended to rid itself of the rest. It added: "The struggle has ended. Decent democracy has been secured and the need for armed resistance has gone. The dark days are now behind us. It is a day of hope and joy."
The announcements were welcomed by the British and Irish governments, which for years have been pushing the organisations towards disarmament, and by the Catholic Church and others.
The IRA placed its arms beyond use several years ago, and the loyalists had been urged to follow suit. But progress in this direction proved desperately slow, partly because some loyalist elements have been heavily involved in money-making criminality.
In the end, however, the overall sense that "the troubles" have ceased had its effect, as did government warnings that decommissioning should be undertaken sooner rather than later.
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
- < Previous
- Next >
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...
£36000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced SEN Teacher n...