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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
LVF may 'stand down its members'
The LVF may be preparing to stand down its members
The LVF may be preparing to stand down its members
There is speculation that loyalist paramilitary group the LVF could order its members to stand down.

The statement could come if a formal end to feuding between the LVF and rival loyalists the UVF is achieved.

It is believed the LVF would have stood down last year had the DUP and Sinn Fein agreed a deal and the IRA ended activities and decommissioned all arms.

The IRA has now done that and the LVF's planned response is thought to be back on the agenda.

The Loyalist Volunteer Force was formed by Portadown loyalist Billy Wright after the Ulster Volunteer Force leadership stood down his unit in 1996.

Wright was shot dead in the Maze prison by republicans in December 1997.

Four men are believed to have been murdered by the UVF during feuding between the two groups since July.

However, there have been no murders as a result of the feud since 15 August and mediation is continuing to try to bring about a formal end to the infighting.

Future

The UVF and the linked Red Hand Commando are also discussing the future of their organisations.

PUP leader David Ervine believes there could be a positive outcome.

"I predict that loyalist guns will go silent," Mr Ervine said.

"I couldn't possibly achieve that, but I know those who can and it is absolutely their determination to do so."

The UVF/Red Hand Commando debate pre-dates the feud and covers matters such as recruitment, how the organisations are viewed inside the loyalist community, and the issue of dialogue, including the question of talking to republicans.


SEE ALSO:
IMC blames UVF for five murders
22 Sep 05 |  Northern Ireland
Feuding is gangsterism says Hain
16 Aug 05 |  Northern Ireland
Loyalist group says conflict over
29 May 04 |  Northern Ireland



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