Republican News · Thursday 23 March 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Sectarian attacks in North Belfast

by Laura Friel

Sinn Fein Assembly member Gerry Kelly has called on loyalist politicians to intervene and ensure that nationalist residents in the Longlands area of North Belfast can live without fear of sectarian intimidation.

``The Longlands area is now experiencing a huge upsurge in sectarian attacks against nationalist residents. Nationalist residents in Longlands Court are being subjected to a nightly barrage of bricks and petrol bombs,'' said Kelly.

In the last 30 years North Belfast has endured some of the worst sectarian violence in the Six counties. Despite the current peace process, sectarian attacks have continued unabated. Over the past year there has been a decimation of the nationalist community in the Graymount area with around 80 catholic families being forced to flee the area by loyalists. The UDA are now setting their sights on the nearby Longlands area.

``It would appear that the UDA are attempting to ethnically cleanse large sections of North Belfast one step at a time. In the months before the upsurge in loyalist attacks we received numerous reports of UDA representatives issuing death threats against Catholic owned businesses and taxi drivers in Longlands in particular and North Belfast in general,'' said Kelly.

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