[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
Loyalist warning on UDA arms move
UDA gunman
The UDA said it would decommission in its own time
The deadline for decommissioning of Ulster Defence Association weapons could derail the peace process, a loyalist spokesman has claimed.

The 60-day deadline set by Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie for the beginning of UDA arms decommissioning expires on Tuesday.

Frankie Gallagher, of the Ulster Political Research Group, said her move could lead to a "disastrous place".

Margaret Ritchie has admitted she has come under pressure to compromise.

Pressure on her came after it emerged the UDA had begun "meaningful engagement" with the body that oversees decommissioning.


The minister said the final decision on whether to redirect 1.2m from the Conflict Transformation Initiative to other loyalist projects was hers.

The UDA, however, said it was adhering to its own timetable for getting rid of its weapons, despite Tuesday's deadline.

Speaking on BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme, Frankie Gallagher from the UPRG, which advises the UDA, said the timing should not be dictated.

"People have gone an extra mile," he said.

"Everybody is trying to double their efforts to maintain the peace process and if this derails the peace process because a minister connects social need with decommissioning, then we are in a disastrous place."

NI Secretary Shaun Woodward said the paramilitaries had begun "meaningful" talks with the decommissioning body.

The funding was intended to help move the UDA away from violence.

UDA takes steps towards disarming
06 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland
UDA won't be pushed on arms deal
05 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland
Minister's UDA meeting finishes
27 Sep 07 |  Northern Ireland
UDA is in 'last chance saloon'
10 Aug 07 |  Northern Ireland
UDA bites at huge cash carrot
22 Mar 07 |  Northern Ireland
Profile: Gen John de Chastelain
26 Sep 05 |  Northern Ireland


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific