Time should be called on loyalist decommissioning Says Alliance

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has responded to comments from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward, in the House of Commons today on Loyalist decommissioning.

Stephen Farry stated: “The Government must beware of being strung along by the Loyalist paramilitaries over decommissioning.

“The constant ‘final-chance’ renewals of decommissioning legislation are wearing thin. Cross-party support for this aspect of the peace process is being jeopardised. Alistair Carmichael, the Northern Ireland Spokesperson of the Liberal Democrats, has rightly warned the government on the issue.

“The special measures on decommissioning have been in place for a decade. There has been plenty of talk from both the UDA and UVF, but no substance.

“It is simply not credible for any organisation to deal with weapons in their own terms. That cannot and will not produce confidence in the wider community. Paramilitaries on all sides have held this region to ransom and they must all be put out of business.

“Decommissioning must occur within a transparent and verifiable process through the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

“The Government needs to call time on loyalist decommissioning. Loyalists need to use the special procedures or lose the privilege. It must be remembered that the possession of weapons remains an illegal offence, and the law should be enforced.”


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