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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
IMC delivers UVF ceasefire report
The UVF has been linked to four murders in recent months
The Independent Monitoring Commission has forwarded a special report on a loyalist feud to the government.

The outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force has been linked to four recent murders and rioting in north Belfast on Monday.

The government has come under pressure to "specify" the organisation, which would mean a statement that it no longer recognises its ceasefire.

A government spokesman said that the IMC report would be published "as soon as practicable".

Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine cautioned against specifying the paramilitary grouping, but said he believed it was inevitable.

"I think that has been expected for some time," Mr Ervine said.

"The cacophony of sound about specification of the UVF has never been heard from within nationalism for the specification of the IRA, whether it be over McCartney, the bank robbery or indeed we go back as far as the Direct Action Against Drugs killings, of which there were over 12."

The PUP is linked to the UVF and Red Hand Commando.

The Independent Monitoring Commission confirmed on Tuesday that it had presented an ad-hoc report on the ongoing loyalist feud to the British and Irish governments.

'Out of control'

Alliance Party justice spokesman Stephen Farry said that the IMC's report was "necessary" as "the UVF are clearly out of control".

"Hopefully, this move will now force the hand of government in recognising that the UVF ceasefire is non-existent. This is something that is perfectly clear to the whole community in Northern Ireland," he added.

Last week, the SDLP urged the Independent Monitoring Commission to report soon on the status of the UVF's ceasefire.

At a meeting with the IMC on Friday, SDLP assembly member Dolores Kelly said her party had urged that an IMC report on the so-called ceasefire be published earlier than the planned date of mid-October.

"The main thrust of the meeting was the UVF ceasefire that doesn't exist and everyone else seems to be ignoring it," she said, adding that her party was pressing for immediate action.

'Indifference'

In a recent interview, SDLP leader Mark Durkan also accused Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain of acting with "indifference" towards the UVF ceasefire.

In July, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said he intended to withhold the PUP's assembly allowances for another year.

The decision followed the latest report from the Independent Monitoring Commission, which said the UVF and Red Hand Commando remained active, violent and involved in organised crime.

The Independent Monitoring Commission was set up by the British and Irish governments in January 2004.

It is a crucial element in the two governments' plans for restoring devolution, which was suspended in October 2002 amid allegations of IRA intelligence gathering at the Northern Ireland Office.


SEE ALSO:
Hain 'must act on UVF ceasefire'
20 Aug 05 |  Northern Ireland


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