A Student of History

May 3, 2007

Another good sign in N. Ireland

Filed under: Ireland — John Maass @ 9:00 am

The Ulster Volunteer Force, the most lethal loyalist paramilitary organisation, today announced that it was renouncing violence and ending its terror campaign.   Although “the statement by the UVF, which killed more than 500 people during Northern Ireland’s Troubles, fell short of decommissioning arms,” this is still a good sign for peace.

The UVF is a Loyalist terrorist group formed in 1966 to oppose liberal reforms in Northern Ireland that members feared would lead to unification of Ireland. The group adopted the name of an earlier organization formed in 1912 to combat Home Rule for Ireland. The UVF’s goal is to maintain Northern Ireland’s status as part of the United Kingdom; to that end, it has killed some 550 persons since 1966. The UVF and its offshoots have been responsible for some of the most vicious attacks of “The Troubles”, including horrific sectarian killings like those perpetrated in the 1970s by the UVF-affiliated “Shankill Butchers.” In October 1994, the Combined Loyalist Military Command, which included the UVF, declared a cease-fire, and the UVF’s political wing, the Progressive Unionist Party, has played an active role in the peace process. Despite the cease-fire, the organization has been involved in a series of bloody feuds with other Loyalist paramilitary organizations, although the UVF is considering a standdown similar to that of the Irish Republican Army. The Red Hand Defenders is linked to the UVF.

More on this from the Telegraph is here

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