Ulster Defense Association

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Pro-UFF mural at the north end of Sandy Row in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Ulster Defense Association (UDA) is an underground Protestant paramilitary criminal movement in Northern Ireland and was founded in 1971 as an umbrella organization for loyalist groups, including vigilante groups, but also violent street protesters. The UDA was legal for a long time but was banned as a terrorist organization in August 1991. Its members and sympathizers see themselves as defenders of the unionists in Northern Ireland against the terror of militant republican forces. In reality, however, the vast majority of attacks were directed at innocent Catholic civilians. The EU has the organization on its list of terrorist organizations .


On February 22, 2003, the leadership of the UDA announced the cessation of all acts of violence for one year, with the continuation of the armistice being re-examined every 3 months. In August 2005, the UDA suppressed the sale of the Irish weekly Sunday World in its sphere of influence, in part through threats and arson attacks on kiosks , after the latter made mockery in an article about the loss of a member of the organization's management team while gambling. It was Andre Shoukri, who was expelled from the UDA together with his brother Ihab in June 2006.

With the Ulster Democratic Party (1989-2001) and its predecessors Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party (1981-1989) and New Ulster Political Research Group , the UDA tried to get a political arm, which was largely unsuccessful. The Ulster Political Research Group , which was founded after the dissolution of the UDP, functions essentially as an advisory body to the UDA leadership.

On November 11, 2007, the UDA announced a formal renunciation of force. The final disarmament was completed and announced in January 2010. This has been verified and confirmed by the Canadian General John de Chastelain, representative of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning . However, it is assumed that individual UDA units have not laid down their weapons. These groups, which are said to be found especially in the north and east of Antrim , have not resolved a long-simmering conflict with the leadership of the (majority) UDA.

In January 2012, the Northern Irish police leadership alleged that the UDA, together with the UVF, was responsible for the escalation of violence in loyalist demonstrations against the decision of the Belfast City Council to no longer hoist the British flag on the town hall .

In October 2015, the UDA issued a statement saying it still exists and is not thinking of disbanding. In a statement, she recalled her origins from vigilante organizations and violent street protest groups in the 1970s and stated that the protection of society was still her concern. The declaration makes explicit reference to the government crisis in Northern Ireland and the ongoing investigation into the activities of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, which was initiated as a result of the declaration that the PIRA will continue to exist.

Web links

Commons : Ulster Defense Association  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. ^ A b c Henry McDonald, UDA re-emerges amid Northern Ireland's power-sharing crisis in: The Guardian, October 6, 2015, accessed October 6, 2015 Quotation: “In the current edition of Ulster magazine - the official organ of the UDA since the 1980s - the loyalist movement reflects on the current stalemate at Stormont. 'We will wait and see which way it pans out but rest assured the UDA are still in existence and won't be leaving any stage whilst republicans of any faction still exist. The organization was set up with the protection of their community at its heart and this we will maintain. '"
  2. Common Position 2009/468 / CFSP of the Council of 15 June 2009 updating Common Position 2001/931 / CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism and repealing Common Position 2009/67 / CFSP
  3. Why UDA expelled 'unlikely loyalists'. In: BBC News . June 21, 2006, accessed May 11, 2017 .
  4. Yahoo News from November 11, 2007  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / de.news.yahoo.com  
  5. Terror group surrenders weapons , n-tv.de, January 6, 2010
  6. Jürgen Krönig: Northern Ireland: Riots in Belfast cast a bad light on politics. In: Zeit Online. January 8, 2013, accessed May 11, 2017 .
  7. ^ Henry McDonald: Government creates Northern Ireland ceasefire monitor after IRA claims. The Guardian, September 18, 2015, accessed October 7, 2015 (English): "Villiers said:" I am announcing today that the government has commissioned a factual assessment from the UK security agencies and the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) on the structure, role and purpose of paramilitary organizations in Northern Ireland. ""