Measures taken over buffer zone violation

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Government measures have been taken in response to Turkish occupation forces encroaching on the UN-controlled buffer zone in Ayios Dometios in Nicosia, according to government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis.

Asked about the measures announced by the President over the buffer zone violation, the Spokesperson said: “The activation of the measures has started”.

He added that he could not say more but that a plan had been activated since Thursday morning.

He said some measures were visible and some were not.

Letymbiotis said that the government expects the UN peacekeeping force to ensure the status of the buffer zone, noting they were in constant communication with UNFICYP.

He said the peacekeeping force had been informed “that if the status of the buffer zone is not restored within a certain timeframe, these measures would be activated”.

Based on the peacekeeping force’s information, the buffer zone “remains unchanged”, and UNFICYP was present in the area while the government was in constant communication with them.

On Monday afternoon, Turkish troops entered the buffer zone in the area of Ayios Dometios.

They installed on an uninhabited residence, known as “Maria’s House”, a metal mast on which a rotating camera and antenna were mounted.

On Wednesday, UNFICYP took action to stop a new violation of the buffer zone in the area after the Turkish occupation army entered with a military vehicle.

These incidents follow one last August when Turkish Cypriot forces punched and kicked a group of UN peacekeepers who obstructed crews illegally working on a road in the buffer zone around Pyla, Larnaca.

The international community, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, condemned the August attack.

An understanding was reached that a single urban development area would be created, ensuring the harmonious coexistence of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the mixed village.

Works that began based on this understanding were temporarily halted earlier this month to resolve complaints by some Turkish Cypriot landowners, who believe their plots are affected.