Cyprus Mail

UNFICYP announces demining project in buffer zone

UNFICYP on Friday announced that an agreement had 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. 

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

A 21-strong Cambodian demining unit will commence work on April 7 and complete the required tasks by the end of May.

The force said the United Nations Security Council through its resolution 2135 of January 30, 2014 had 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.

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.  (CNA)

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