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Ulster Militia Looks to Disarmament Talks

The Ulster Defense Association, Northern Ireland’s largest Protestant paramilitary group, said today that it would cease all military activity and attacks on Roman Catholics, for 12 months, and that it would resume communications with the body monitoring disarmament of the province’s guerrilla organizations. The cease-fire will be reviewed every three months and applies to two affiliate organizations, the Ulster Freedom Fighters and the Ulster Young Militants, the group said. It follows a violent internal feud that left four men dead and forced 100 people into exile in Scotland two weeks ago. The group’s political representatives announced the move at a Belfast hotel, with a statement that included an apology for the group’s involvement in the illegal drug trade and a vague plan to become an exclusively political organization. Political leaders welcomed the statement but said the group should back up its words with actions. Full Story

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