UDA 'disillusioned' over recognition of ceasefire

 

The loyalist Ulster Defence Association (UDA) said today its six-month long ceasefire was still intact, but it warned it could be undermined by the activities of dissident republicans.

The UDA said it believed loyalists were being treated more unfavourably thanrepublicans.

It contrasted their treatment with the recent peace process proposal to enableon-the-run IRA members to return to Northern Ireland without being jailed.

The group also alleged "mainstream PIRA members have continued to involvethemselves in attacks on the security forces whilst targeting innocentProtestants in areas throughout the north west".

Loyalists noted the police could not "bring to justice the dissident elementsresponsible for attacks, which include two unresolved murders, of innocentProtestants".

"As recently as last week the PSNI informed a number of loyalists of existingdeath threats from the PIRA.

"The UDA views with deep suspicion the nationalist community's contributionto supporting policing structures when they have demonstrably shown that theyare not prepared to cooperate with the PSNI in resolving these outstandingmurders.

"Consequently dissident republican activity cannot go unpunished. It is forthe (British) government to respond to this situation."

UPRG co-ordinator, Mr David Nicholl, read out the statement to reporters, saying it had the full authority of the UDA's entire membership.

"It is my belief that given today's statement from the Ulster Defence Association, that they are happy to continue with the present Gregg Initiative and maintain the ceasefire.

"There are, however, serious concerns within the UDA with regards to ongoing dissident activity particularly in the North-West where there are two unresolved murders of two innocent Protestants who have been killed by those groups recently.

"It is for the British government to respond to the security situation and the UDA wants the government to respond to any deteriorating security situation", said Mr Nicholl.