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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
Paramilitary stand down is urged
The motion was put forward at Stormont
The motion was put forward at Stormont
All five parties on the Preparation for Government Committee have approved a motion calling for the standing down of all paramilitary organisations.

The DUP has welcomed Sinn Fein's support for the motion and called for action on IRA disbandment.

However, republicans said unionists should do more to end the influence of paramilitaries in their own community.

The motion on the immediate standing down of paramilitaries was proposed by the DUP.

Five parties are currently represented on the committee.

Welcoming Sinn Fein's backing, the DUP said that if taken forward and delivered upon the agreement could mark the beginning of some progress.

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said: "But the DUP wants actions to follow the words, including the disbandment of the IRA and other paramilitary organisations in the weeks and months ahead.

"However, Sinn Fein sources say republicans worked hard to achieve last summer's breakthrough by the IRA, when it ordered an end to its campaign.

"They say it's a bit rich of unionists to demand more movement from the IRA when - in the opinion of republicans - they have not used their influence to end the influence of loyalist paramilitaries within their own community."

On 15 May, Northern Ireland's politicians took their seats in the Stormont assembly for the first time since October 2002.

While there is no immediate prospect of a power-sharing executive being formed, the government hopes recalling the politicians will help to pave the way towards a deal in the autumn, by its deadline of 24 November.

Devolved government was suspended over allegations of a republican spy ring. The court case that followed collapsed.

Direct rule from London was restored in October 2002 and has been in place since.




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