Ulster Defense Association says it has disarmed

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DUBLIN (AP) — The major British Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Defense Association, says it has fully disarmed — finally meeting the key requirement of the province’s 1998 peace accord.

The outlawed UDA killed more than 200 Catholic civilians but has largely observed a cease-fire since 1994. The group previously refused to surrender its arms — chiefly guns and grenades — citing the continuing threat from Irish Republican Army dissidents based in Catholic areas.

UDA leaders declared the group’s full disarmament Wednesday in a statement. The leader of Northern Ireland’s disarmament commission, retired Canadian Gen. John de Chastelain, was expected to confirm the move soon. He previously oversaw the IRA’s disarmament from 2001 to 2005.

Tags : eu international relations military nireland politics
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