Northern Ireland politicians hail UDA move
Published 06/01/2010 | 12:42
Northern Ireland`s politicians have reacted positively to the news that the Ulster Defence Association has completed the decommissioning of its weapons.
Shaun Woodward, Northern Ireland Secretary, said the move was a vindication of Government policy.
"This is a major act of leadership by the UDA and further comprehensive evidence of the success of politics over violence in Northern Ireland," he said.
"The road to decommissioning has not been easy. It has required people to keep faith with demanding and exacting policy, supported by clear principles built on a total rejection of violence."
Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly said it was a substantial step forward.
He said: "The nationalist and unionist populations will both be relieved that a substantial amount of guns are being taken off our streets, and nationalist communities in particular would rest much easier as a result of that.
"There can be no place for guns as we move forward in advancing the political process. This process has been about taking the gun out of Irish politics."
DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said the party welcomed the news.
"The party has been working for a considerable time to remove all illegal weapons from the streets of Northern Ireland and to deliver universal support for policing and the rule of law," he said.
"People will now be looking for clear evidence of a complete and total commitment to the peaceful and democratic path by all those previously involved with paramilitary groups."