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Protest against buffer zone barbed wire ends peacefully (Updated)

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Barbed wire along the buffer zone

A protest against the barbed wire fences and gates along the buffer zone was held on Sunday by affected villagers in the west of Nicosia.

Around 200 people attended, according to police.

During the protest – by resident of Astromeritis, Peristerona, Akaki, Denia and Mammari – the main road to Troodos by the Akaki packing plant was temporarily closed. Police said they were on hand to direct motorists. Protesters blocked the road for only 15 minutes.

The protest ended on time and without incident.

“In no way do we want to cause an inconvenience to people, but due to the circumstances we are forced to take more drastic measures. The barred gates installed along the southern side of the buffer zone, on roads leading to our properties will cause a multitude of problems,” an announcement from the initiative said.

The initiative against barbed wire has carried out meetings with members of the government, parties and other political actors and has sent letters to the interior ministry, the House and the Ombudswoman aiming at informing and raising awareness over the problems facing the area’s residents and to point out the impact on the Cyprus problem as a result of the placement of the barbed wire.

They say there has been no response.

The initiative demands the immediate removal of the barbed wire and gates from the affected communities to not leave them exposed to the occupying forces and to whoever roams undisturbed in the yards of their homes and business premises, to not expose them to risk and to not deprive them of the right of free movement.
They also say that Turkish Cypriot famers are now moving in to their buffer-zone fields to cultivate them.
“We ourselves create borders and give them the right to come closer to us,” they said.

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