Loyalist paramilitary groups declare a ceasefire (1994)


In October 1994 the Combined Loyalist Military Command, an umbrella group representing several Loyalist paramilitary groups, issued the following ceasefire statement:


 

“After a widespread consultative process initiated by representations from the Ulster Democratic and Progressive Unionist Parties, and after having received confirmation and guarantees in relation to Northern Ireland’s constitutional position within the United Kingdom, as well as other assurances, and, in the belief that the democratically expressed wishes of the greater number of people in Northern Ireland will be respected and upheld, the CLMC will universally cease all operational hostilities as from midnight on Thursday October 13th 1994.

 

The permanence of our ceasefire will be completely dependant upon the continued cessation of all nationalist-republican violence, the sole responsibility for a return to war lies with them.

 

In the genuine hope that this peace will be permanent, we take the opportunity to pay homage to all our fighters, commandos and volunteers who paid the supreme sacrifice. They did not die in vain. The Union is safe.

 

To our physically and mentally wounded who have served Ulster so unselfishly, we wish a speedy recovery, and to the relatives of these men and women, we pledge our continued moral and practical support.

 

To our prisoners who have undergone so much deprivation and degradation with great courage and forbearance, we solemnly promise to leave no stone unturned to secure their freedom…

 

In all sincerity, we offer to the loved ones of all innocent victims over the past twenty years, abject and true remorse. No words of ours will compensate for the intolerable suffering they have undergone during the conflict.

 

Let us firmly resolve to respect our differing views of freedom, culture and aspiration and never again permit our political circumstances to degenerate into bloody warfare. We are on the threshold of a new and exciting beginning, with our battles in future being political battles, fought on the side of honesty, decency and democracy against the negativity of mistrust, misunderstanding and malevolence, so that together we can bring forth a wholesome society in which our children, and their children, will know the meaning of true peace.”