The government took a swipe at the UN on Thursday, calling on it to be objective in the way it presents events and facts after it took offence by statements made by Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force Colin Stewart.

A day earlier, Stewart briefed the UN secretary-general and security council on Cyprus. Taking questions from reporters, a journalist from Turkey’s Anadolu agency asked Stewart what the UN would do to prevent “violations carried out by Greek Cypriots, both in Pyla and other parts of the buffer zone.”

Stewart responded saying “we are facing increased tensions and what that means is we have had violations to the buffer zone on both sides. In fact, there’s been an escalation in recent months.”

His statements were a reflection of the UNSG’s draft reports on the Good Offices Mission and Unficyp’s mandate.

Ongoing violations

Nonetheless, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said the UN should present facts and events on the ground objectively.

In statements to the CNA where he was asked to comment on Stewart’s statement’s, Letymbiotis underlined the government was waiting for the final text of the security council resolution.

“Our positions are known, and we continue to work towards promoting them. We repeat our position that there must be an objective presentation of the real facts.”

Violations on the buffer zone from Turkish Cypriot forces include the Pyla incident last year where UN soldiers were assaulted. The Greek Cypriot forces were detailed to have encroached the buffer zone “reportedly to counter irregular migration,” in the western part of the island.

The contentious 14km wire “mostly inside the buffer zone” installed in 2021 and 2022 “against the mission’s protests” aimed at curbing migrant flows was also mentioned. “No significant step towards its removal has yet been observed.”

Last year, armed soldiers from the north carried out an incursion into the buffer zone at Ayios Dhometios in Nicosia to place a camera on an abandoned house.