UDA re-emerges amid Northern Ireland’s power-sharing crisis

Statement from loyalist terror group says it ‘won’t be leaving’ as talks continue to save devolution after crisis sparked by alleged IRA killing.

The Guardian, By Henry McDonald, October 6

The loyalist terror group the Ulster Defence Association is still in existence and refuses to dissolve, it has announced.

At one time it was the largest loyalist paramilitary organisation, with thousands of members across Northern Ireland. It has now said it has no intention of disappearing.

The UDA statement comes as political parties represented in the Stormont assembly continue talks aimed at saving power sharing in the region. At the heart of the latest crisis destabilising devolution are allegations of ongoing paramilitary activity – most notably claims that the Provisional IRA still exists and was responsible for murdering ex-member Kevin McGuigan in August.

The UDA’s intervention will further complicate negotiations between unionist and nationalist parties, chaired by the British and Irish governments. A report drawn up by three government-appointed security, legal and academic experts is to be released this month, which will rule on the status of the IRA and other paramilitary organisations.

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