N.Ireland Pipe Bomb Dump 'Not Disarmament' -Britain

Britain welcomed on Thursday the dumping of a cache of pipe bombs by Northern Ireland’s largest Protestant paramilitary group, but said the move did not constitute a formal act of disarmament.

Earlier, police displayed for the media the haul of 14 potentially lethal homemade devices abandoned on Wednesday night by the west Belfast unit of the outlawed Ulster Defense Association (UDA). Guerrilla groups on both sides of the province’s sectarian divide are under pressure to disarm — or “decommission” in the jargon of the peace process — to restore confidence in the faltering Good Friday Agreement. The task of overseeing disarmament, a key element of the 1998 peace deal which aimed to end three decades of violence, rests with an international commission headed by retired Canadian general John de Chastelain. “This act has very much to be welcomed, but it is not an act of decommissioning — it has not been done through the auspices of the decommissioning commission,” Britain’s security minister in the province, Jane Kennedy, told BBC Radio. “It has been a matter entirely handled by the police.” Full Story

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