British govt tells loyalists to end all paramilitary activity

The British government has said it made it clear to loyalists this week that they must end all paramilitary activity and deal with the issue of decommissioning their weapons.

The British government has said it made it clear to loyalists this week that they must end all paramilitary activity and deal with the issue of decommissioning their weapons.

Northern Secretary Paul Murphy met leaders of the Ulster Defence Association last night and also held talks on Monday with the Progressive Unionist Party, the political wing of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Among the group that met Mr Murhpy last night were three senior UDA leaders, including Andre Shoukri from north Belfast and Billy McFarland from Co Derry.

Speaking after the talks, another loyalist, Frankie Gallagher, said they felt left behind by the peace process and that discussions had centred on where loyalism would like to be in five to 10 years.

The British government stopped recognising the UDA's ceasefire a number of years ago because of vicious internal feuding and ongoing attacks on Catholics and others.

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