Cyprus Mail

Expert says landfill can safely be explored


A preliminary study on the former landfill in occupied Dikomo, where the remains of 70 Greek Cypriot missing persons are believed to be buried has been submitted to the committee on missing persons (CMP) by a Portuguese expert, it emerged on Saturday.

In the study, the expert said it is safe to dig at the specific spot despite the fact there are methane pipes and risk of explosion, Cyprus News Agency reported, citing Phileleftheros.

The landfill underwent a revamp procedure by the Portuguese expert years ago, with EU funding, and pipelines were placed for the methane to be excluded.

Greek Cypriot member of the CMP Leonidas Pantelides told the CNA the expert will conclude his study by the end of June.

He said the CMP wanted to know whether the excavation can be carried out safely, how it will be done and the cost of the project.

There was a briefing regarding the first question, he added, and the expert said there is a way to go about the excavation without any risks.

Pantelides said that a piece of the so called dome of the landfill will be removed but he added that the expert and his team will prepare two more studies. The piece will be removed so that the CMP archaeologists can have access.

He also told the CNA that the tons of garbage which will be removed will have to be stored somewhere safe and then placed back in the landfill.

Pantelides further clarified that he is not in a position to say that the procedure will be followed as planned because the “Turkish Cypriot authorities need to give their permission as they have only allowed the studies to take place so far and there needs to be a clear picture on the cost of the project”. He said if the budget is not enough then additional funding needs to be secured.

The Greek Cypriots, from Assia village, are believed to have been killed in Ornithi during the Turkish invasion and their remains were then moved to Dikomo, in the 90s, when the landfill was in operation. The remains are believed to have been thrown into three pits on the edge of the landfill.

The site has since been altered and now what is seen there is a huge hill.

The Committee on Missing Persons was set up between the two communities with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.

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