Decommissioning welcomed but emphasis now needs to be on truth and dealing with the legacy of the conflict
Speaking on news that the UVF have began a process of decommissioning Relatives for Justice Director Mark Thompson said:
‘Obviously this is breaking news in which there is, as yet, very little detail of the extent of weapons and armaments decommissioned. Nonetheless any move towards decommissioning of weapons is to be welcomed and encouraged.
‘For families affected by loyalist violence, especially concerning the issue of collusion, truth, acknowledgement and recognition surrounding the killings of their loved ones remains the central focus as it also is for many families across our society affected by all the groupings to the conflict. Emphasis now needs to be on truth and dealing with the legacy of the conflict in an independent way.
‘Equally so are the ongoing issues of sectarianism and racism that are essentially the same sides of the one coin. Decommissioning mindsets and prejudice must be part of the overall process of decommissioning and this can only be achieved by a greater exploration and understanding of our collective past.
‘The Eames/Bradley Report, and in particular the Legacy Commission, if fully implemented contains the potential to address these issues independently and we would call on all groups to the conflict, including all State actors and those intelligence agencies that initially armed loyalists, to apply equal energy to this strand of the report.
We would especially urge the British Secretary of State Shaun Woodward MP to announce the British Government’s intentions to implement the recommendations of the Eames/Bradley Report in full.
‘Families across the community now want truth. Truth and dealing with the legacy of the conflict should be pursued by the media in the same vigorous way they have pursued the issue of decommissioning’