End this confusion over ceasefires now – Alliance

Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Naomi Long, has demanded to know why government has used different definitions of a ceasefire than that set out by the Independent Monitoring Commission. Naomi Long MLA asked Peter Hain to clarify this matter when he attended today’s Preparation for Government Committee. She also made reference to armed and active loyalist paramilitaries.

The East Belfast Assembly Member said: “What is the justification for government defining a ceasefire differently to the way in which the Joint Declaration, and subsequently, the Independent Monitoring Commission do so.

“The government must clarify ceasefire definitions and any reasons for changes to these definitions. This will ensure that no ambiguity remains regarding the ceasefire status of paramilitary groups.

“It is totally unacceptable that paramilitaries are still able to act as judge, jury and executioner in many parts of Northern Ireland. All punishment beatings are clearly a breach of any ceasefire and must be acknowledged as such by government in order to send out a strong message to all paramilitaries that such activities must never take place.

“The sheer hypocrisy of Ulster Unionists on the issue of loyalist paramilitaries is there for everyone to see. They rightly condemn all forms of republican paramilitary activity; however, when it comes to loyalist paramilitaries, the silence from many of them is deafening.

“The Ulster Unionist’s continued links to the representatives of armed and active loyalist terrorists underline their lack of morals and hypocrisy on this matter.”


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