UDA have put weapons beyond use

Just announced on BBC Newsline that the UDA has completed putting its weapons beyond use. It will announce this tomorrow and apparently General John de Chastelain, the head of the international decommissioning body which witnessed the act will also make a statement.

  • Pete Baker

    Turgon

    That’s an “expected to announce”.

    Let’s see what it actually involves.

    And whether there are other deals connected details.

  • Stephen Blacker

    This is great news, more guns out of circulation, another step taken in our peace journey! The next step for the UDA and others is to break up your structures and cease to exist! Happy New Year!

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Pete. Wonder if that includes the UDA “dissidents”.

  • Turgon

    Stephen Blacker,
    Yes it may well be good news. However, as Pete notes above the concern is whether or not the vampires will get further Danegeld. In addition as I have noted previously these people are well able to murder without firearms.

    Clearly it is good in so far as it goes but if the trade off is that these dreadful people are allowed to keep working class unionist areas in thralldom then it may be far from unalloyed good news.

  • Paul

    I hope and prey this is true that the UDA have got rid of there guns.Theres the break away south east antrim brigade of the UDA in the mix as well who if my memory serves me have started the process lets hope they too dump there arms.

  • joeCanuck

    It would be a pity, Turgon, if they do get more Danegeld in the coming months as a side deal. The Government ruled that out totally when it was demanded asked for last year. I hope the Government keeps to its word. I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them, though.

  • Skintown Lad

    Great news. Well done to all who have brought us to this point, especially at a time when the dissident republican threat appears to be on the rise.

  • Stephen Blacker

    Turgon,

    It is good news! It is another step towards normality! Your idea that they can kill without firearms comes across to me as, “Why take the guns in? let them keep them, sure they can still kill anyway”

    This is good news! But i would hate to think they would get rewarded for eventually doing the right thing!

  • percy

    great news, about time too.!

    now the only 2 groups that might take us back to war , either via actions or words are the C/RIRA and their opposites the TUV.

    thankfully they’re both regarded as *dinosaurs* by the majority, so “norn iron” should be ok peace-wise.

    (not that peace ever mattered to dissident unionists/republicans I might add)

  • joeCanuck

    ..take us back to war….and their opposites the TUV…

    Totally unwarranted, Percy. I have not seen anyone from the TUV, and particularly their “spokesman” here on Slugger, Turgon, advocate violence as a means to achieve their political aims. I am totally opposed to the TUV’s policies but fair is fair.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Let’s get down to tacks…

    From the BBC story: “Once this amnesty ends, any UDA weapons discovered by police would be forensically tested and evidence could be used in future court cases.”

    Uh-huh… because the PSNI and the prosecution service did such a good job fulfilling their duties before the deadline and during the conflict, they promise to do an extra-specially good job “after the deadline.”

    Weapons are replaceable. The rackets are still operating. Just as PIRA “hasn’t gone away,” as evidenced by Quinn and McCartney, these spides are still here and I wouldn’t make book on the sincerity of this claim. At best, all the weapons they’ve deigned to show the IMC have been “put beyond use.”

  • iluvni

    So, does that mean we’ll all get to see who decommissioned what now, as we were promised?

  • joeCanuck

    At best, all the weapons they’ve deigned to show the IMC have been “put beyond use.”

    True DC. But I understand that there was a close correltion between what the PIRA decommissioned and what the authorities believed they had.
    I’m assuming that the authorities have such a number for UDA weapons and that General de Chastelain will not give his imprimatur unless there is such a correltion.
    I’m such a terrible optimist, aren’t I?

  • joeCanuck

    correlation even.

  • percy

    joe
    Wrecking the relative peace and stability of “norn iron”
    for your so-called “principles” is a receipe for war ,
    believe me, we’ve been there before.

  • The period set out in the relevant legislation ends in February so they are probably not willing to run the risk of weapon stores being raided and people being incriminated and locked up.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “I’m assuming that the authorities have such a number for UDA weapons and that General de Chastelain will not give his imprimatur unless there is such a correltion.

    I’m such a terrible optimist, aren’t I? ”

    Compared to me, you’re a ray of sunshine, but that’s not that high a bar to clear…

  • tacapall

    Like a David Copperfield show, all smoke and mirrors just an illusion that this was done for the good of “The Province” its all about money, not unlike the Sinners, if money hasn’t changed hands its a real life 2010 miracle

  • Given that we may be entering a period of relative poliitcal instability with the possible collapse of Stormont less weapons floating about has to be good news.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Moderate Unionist: “Given that we may be entering a period of relative poliitcal instability with the possible collapse of Stormont less weapons floating about has to be good news. ”

    And do you have anything, beyond the IMC’s promises, that anything other than the rustiest armorer’s nightmares, were turned in for destruction / “being put beyond use.”

    It also doesn’t take more than some plumbing supplies, a little lumber and some rubber-bands to make a workable firearm — a gun good enough to kill a cop to get a “real” firearm.

  • tacapall

    Why are the DUP or TUV not demanding verifiable evidence that the UDA have decommissioned, just goes to show you how hypocritical they really are with their double standards.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    tapacall: “Why are the DUP or TUV not demanding verifiable evidence that the UDA have decommissioned, just goes to show you how hypocritical they really are with their double standards. ”

    More likely the DUP and the TUV knowing the futility of expecting one group of terrorists move one step further than the last batch of terrorists had to move.

  • tacapall

    More likely the DUP and the TUV knowing the futility of expecting one group of terrorists move one step further than the last batch of terrorists had to move.

    How do you work out its one step further ?

  • Alias

    [i]”The loyalist paramilitary group has five weeks to meet the government’s 9 February deadline to complete the decommissioning of its weapons. Once this amnesty ends, any UDA weapons discovered by police would be forensically tested and evidence could be used in future court cases.”[/i]

    All the state is doing is conspiring with state-sponsored murder gangs to destroy evidence of serious criminal acts, thereby denying justice to its own citizens who were victims of these weapons and allowing grubby sectarian murderers to escape the consequences of their crimes.

    It’s a shame that the ECHR doesn’t have a protocol on a right to justice, as such an international law would prohibit this despicable action by the state.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    tapacall: “How do you work out its one step further ?”

    You look at what was required of the other guy and then tell the IMC to get stuffed if they want anything beyond that bare minimum. Having accepted PIRA’s weapons on a certain basis, what rational or moral argument would the IMC have asking for more out of the UDA or anyone else?

    Alias: “All the state is doing is conspiring with state-sponsored murder gangs to destroy evidence of serious criminal acts, thereby denying justice to its own citizens who were victims of these weapons and allowing grubby sectarian murderers to escape the consequences of their crimes.”

    Well, duh — having provided PIRA with the same courtesy, why *wouldn’t* they provide the rest of the thugs with the same?

  • Alias

    I didn’t express surprise at the state’s action, so I fail to see why you would assume I was suprised and needed to point out that I should not have been.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Alias: “I didn’t express surprise at the state’s action, so I fail to see why you would assume I was suprised and needed to point out that I should not have been. ”

    Because, once the precedent was set with PIRA, all the other IMC disarmaments were inevitably going to follow the same pattern. If you’re not surprised, why do you need to belabor the obvious?

  • tacapall

    Having accepted PIRA’s weapons on a certain basis, what rational or moral argument would the IMC have asking for more out of the UDA or anyone else?

    What are you talking about ? What more could they ask of the UDA or anyone else, that they didn’t ask the IRA

  • Alias

    Is it obvious? I suppose that could be the reason why no one has made the point. But it could also be that the point is deliberately obscured for political reasons and the focus placed on the “great news, everybody” angle instead. If so, then it would only be obvious to those who have not allowed their focus to be misled – and they, if comments are any measure, are non-existent here.

    Incidentally, the IMC has no involvement in decommissioning. That monitors activity by the paramilitary groups in NI. You are confusing that body with the IICD. And, of course, the precedent of an amnesty existed prior to the IICD using it for PIRA decommissioning.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Alias: “Is it obvious? I suppose that could be the reason why no one has made the point. But it could also be that the point is deliberately obscured for political reasons and the focus placed on the “great news, everybody” angle instead.”

    All it would be would be déjà vu, all over again. They played the same “Ooooh SHINY!” game last time out.

    Alias: “Incidentally, the IMC has no involvement in decommissioning. That monitors activity by the paramilitary groups in NI. You are confusing that body with the IICD. And, of course, the precedent of an amnesty existed prior to the IICD using it for PIRA decommissioning. ”

    Different letters, same spinelessness / fecklessness. It does take some effort to keep the alphabet soup sorted out.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    tacapall: “What are you talking about ? What more could they ask of the UDA or anyone else, that they didn’t ask the IRA .”

    And if no one was able to get more than just the IICD’s promise that these things were done, why would either the DUP or TUV think that they’d have a prayer’s chance in hell of getting anything more in this instance, simply as a practical matter, let alone the potential for embarrassing political outcomes from such a tracing.

  • Scaramoosh

    Turgon

    Perhaps I have missed something, but what exactly is TUV policy for freeing the loyalists estates from “these people”?

  • regimental 1912

    Well that’s another piece of GOOD news,bollocks is what I say.It is so easy to replenish the weapons cupboard these days that I thought this putting weapons beyond use is only a tool to make the authorities to look as though they have achieved something.We need some perspective put on this issue,in comparison to the rest of the UK and the little statelet to the south,Northern Ireland has probably got the lowest rate of murders of them all and has been said earlier,who needs a gun to murder,as I said before,a lot of bullshit that has cost god knows what.

  • An Lorgain

    After reading these pages, I feel like chewing a box of Prozac (:

    [color=green]An lorgain[/color]

  • Brian MacAodh

    How many of those weapons were purchased with the help of British Intelligence Agents?

    They have never had to pay for their part in arming a murder gang.

  • regimental 1912

    Brian,the same could be said of the Irish government.As a member of the PUL community I was all for the Bloody Sunday Enquiry,I wanted to know who the feck missed and why.I would not like to think that you are accusing Donaldson,old Scap et al,as they were as you say British Intelligence Agents,and who knows how many more in the sinners at the top table.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    BM: “How many of those weapons were purchased with the help of British Intelligence Agents?”

    That is one of the questions I’d have liked answered, although, to be wholly fair, I’d liked to have traced PIRA’s weapons as well, for similar reasons.

  • Brian MacAodh

    This is just another example of everything from the 30 period getting swepped aside because there seems to be no better solution.
    I have no problem with amnesty if that is truly the only thing that will help end this strife, but I think citizens deserve to know what their government was up to and what role they had to play in murders (particularly in allowing murders of ‘civilians’ to occur in order to keep their cover intact). But until I get the highest of security clearances (and even then probably not) I know I will never know what really went on in the counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism game.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Brian MacAodh: “This is just another example of everything from the 30 period getting swepped aside because there seems to be no better solution. ”

    Almost… there isn’t an easier-seeming solution. But, then, if the police and the prosecutors were worth their salaries and interested in doing their jobs, we’d not have the spectacles of dissidents setting up armed road-blocks or Loyalist bands kicking folks to death.

    Brian MacAodh: “I have no problem with amnesty if that is truly the only thing that will help end this strife, but I think citizens deserve to know what their government was up to and what role they had to play in murders (particularly in allowing murders of ‘civilians’ to occur in order to keep their cover intact). But until I get the highest of security clearances (and even then probably not) I know I will never know what really went on in the counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism game. ”

    Too many embarrassing facts on both sides, Brian. Admittedly, the UK has the furthest to fall of the three sides, but I sincerely doubt that the unvarnished truth will every really see daylight, leastwise in our lifetimes — the UK still has secrets from the Second World War gathering dusts, iirc, so anything from the Troubles has decades to run, easily.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    This is good news….

    but Dread made a good point above. The UDA has a capacity of making firearms. Not crude EOka-style exhaust pipes with a spike and a bolt but Uzis and Stens.

    However, it is a good sign. A positive rather than negative development – lets not loose sight of that.