Good news today in Northern Ireland, where the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) has claimed to have completed putting their weapons beyond use. This comes some 5 weeks ahead of their February deadline, when the decommissioning body ceases to operate.  The UDA claim was officially confirmed by General John De Chastelain, head of the international decommissioning body.

The decommissioning comes over a decade since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, and 15 years since the UDA's ceasefire, which gives some indication of the difficulty in ending a conflict once parties become armed. We can hope that this will provide a boost to the ongoing peace process, particularly at a time when both leading political parties are facing internal problems.

Posted by Ruairi Nolan, Insight on Conflict, 6 January 2010