UDA to announced weapons decommissioned

The Ulster Defence Association will announce today it has completed the decommissioning of its weapons.

The Ulster Defence Association will announce today it has completed the decommissioning of its weapons.

The North's largest loyalist paramilitary grouping put the remainder of its arsenal out of use in recent weeks.

The symbolic move will be confirmed by General John De Chastelain of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) after the UDA issues a statement later this morning.

Other independent people are also believed to have witnessed the act.

The paramilitary organisation, responsible for some of the bloodiest atrocities during the conflict, had already put a small number of guns beyond use last June.

Then the Commission said it was given assurances from the mainstream UDA’s five so-called “brigades” and the breakaway South East Antrim grouping that they would complete their decommissioning by the end of the IICD’s mandate next month.

The IICD report said it had met all the mainstream UDA’s “brigades” and was told there was no difference of opinion.

Last year Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward warned that a legislative amnesty from prosecution, which set a deadline of next month for the completion of decommissioning, would not be renewed.

Rival loyalist grouping the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) completed decommissioning last summer.

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