Unionist paramilitaries have declared Protestant housing estates to be no-go areas for Catholics.

In a statement to mark the 10th anniversary of its (unobserved) ceasefire, the UDA said it was drawing an ‘Orange line’ around Protestant areas because of the growth of the nationalist community.

While the UDA has been involved in sectarian interface violence in a number of areas in north and east Belfast in recent years, the warning covers areas such as Derry’s Waterside, south Derry and south-east Antrim.

“We have declared an Orange line around all Protestant areas,” the UDA/ UFF statement said.

“Whilst we realise that one community is growing faster than the other, we cannot allow another garden, another house or another street to be attacked.

“We can ensure to the utmost of our ability that loyalists will not breach the orange line. Will republicans do the same?”

SDLP leader Mark Durkan accused the UDA of “fascism”.

“No-one has the right to tell others where they can and cannot go, where they can live or how to lives their lives,” Mr Durkan said. “Their agenda is not just threats to another community but control of their own.”

Belfast deputy mayor Joe O’Donnell, who represents the isolated nationalist Short Strand enclave in east Belfast also accused the UDA of threatening Catholics.

“For years the UDA has engaged in sectarianism and racism and now it is imposing physical apartheid,” he said. “This is Nazism at its most base.”

A so-called UDA ‘brigadier’ later denied that the statement threatened nationalists, only those involved in “republican attacks”.

Meanwhile, sectarian attacks on nationalist homes have continued. On Tuesday afternoon loyalists used derelict houses at the Limestone Road peaceline in north Belfast to attack nationalist homes in Newington.

Some climbed onto a roof and used hammers to smash windows of the home of a terrifyied a young family.


And last night, unionist gangs targeted members of the Turkish and Indian communities.

‘Turks Out’ was daubed on victims’ homes in Comber, County Down, echoing the more familiar anti-Catholic ‘Taigs Out’.

In the dead of night, bricks were thrown through the windows of cars while racist graffiti was painted on the homes.

The UDA have carried out such attacks in the past.

Nationalist SDLP representative Joe Boyle said those responsible were “pathetic bigots”.

“This is yet another shameful attack on ethnic communities in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“Those responsible are pathetic bigots who prey on innocent people. They are racist bullies who bring a bad name on Northern Ireland.

“My thoughts are with the Turkish and Indian communities at this time and I want them to know that the thugs responsible for this intimidation do not represent the wider community here.”

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