[Sinn Fein]

26th March 1999

UVF threat is a serious development

Sinn Fein Assembly Member, Alex Maskey last night described the PUP statement as an''explicit threat and a serious development in the loyalist group.''

Mr. Maskey said:

``The statement issued on behalf of the UVF by David Ervine must be taken seriously. It is a stark affirmation of implicit threats contained in an interview by Billy Hutchinson a couple of weeks ago. Although it must be taken seriously it can not be allowed to prevent the two governments fulfilling their obligations under the Agreement.

``If this statement had been issued by Republicans there would have been immediate demands for the exclusion of Sinn Fein from the political process. we are not advocating and would not support excluding and party with an electoral mandate. But the muted response from mainstream Unionism is a glaring example of the inconsistency and the double standards they hold towards violence or the threat of violence by Loyalist organisations.''

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