Cyprus & World News

Demining project in Cyprus

04 April, 2014

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) announced Friday that an agreement has been reached for the provision of demining support from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in order to clear two areas in Cyprus, where mines may have inadvertently been displaced into the buffer zone through flooding.

Accodring to UNFICYP, one area lies on the eastern coast of Cyprus while another is located a few kilometres west of Nicosia.

It is noted that within the framework of inter-mission cooperation a 21-strong Cambodian demining unit will commence work on 7 April and complete the required tasks by the end of May.

It recalls that the United Nations Security Council through its resolution 2135 of 30 January 2014 has renewed its call on both sides to allow access to deminers and to facilitate the removal of the remaining mines in Cyprus within the buffer zone, and urged both sides to extend demining operations outside the buffer zone.

UNFICYP, on the occasion of today`s International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, recalls that between late 2004 and early 2011, teams of deminers associated with the UN Mine Action Centre in Cyprus (UNMACC) worked to rid the 180-km-long buffer zone of landmines originally laid by military forces in 1974.

The deminers cleared and destroyed over 25,000 landmines, taking a major step towards a mine-free buffer zone and ultimately a mine-free Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and since then occupy 37% of the island`s territory.