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Friday, 15 December, 2000, 18:33 GMT
Loyalist statement in full
Loyalist show of strength which led to bitter feuding between loyalists
Rivalry between loyalist paramilitaries led to bloodshed
The leaders of rival loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland have said a violent feud which has claimed seven lives is over.

An announcement came on Friday after leading figures in the paramilitary Ulster Defence Association, the rival Ulster Volunteer Force and its sister organisation, the Red Hand Commando, met in Belfast.

The statement said that there had been a series of "intense negotiations" between the inner council of the UDA, brigade command of the UVF, and the brigade staff of the RHC.

It went on: "A series of mechanisms have been created at both leadership and local level throughout each organisation to ensure that any disputes that may arise are resolved in a peaceful manner to the benefit of all our members and communities in which they live.

"Each organisation commits itself to a full and genuine operation of the agreed mechanisms.

"We fully recognise the pain and suffering that has been inflicted on our community and we resolve that under no circumstances will such events be repeated.

"In order to facilitate this conflict transformation process aimed at establishing a conclusive, honourable and durable peace, each organisation is further committed to an open ended and all-encompassing cessation of hostilities.

"Neither the LVF nor any activity carried out under its name or any flag of convenience such as the Red Hand Defenders, Orange Volunteers, or Loyalist Freedom Fighters has the support of any organisations bound by this agreement."

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See also:

15 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
Feud is over say loyalists
30 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Talks call after Belfast murder
23 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
History of the loyalist feud
23 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
Who are the loyalist paramilitaries?
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