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22 July, 2024
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Cyprus picks up the pace in search of missing

CMP excavations resume north and south for people gone missing between 1964-1974


More exhumations are in the works by the Committee of Missing Persons, starting on Monday on both sides of the island, including areas inside military zones in the north.

CMP crews in the south will begin excavating in Strovolos, Nicosia, in search of the remains of two Turkish Cypriots missing since 1964, according to CNA News Agency.

At the same time, according to CNA, more sites including locations that fall within Turkish military zones in the north will be excavated in Dikomo, Katokopia, and Vouno village, as well as Famagusta’s Arsos and Agios Loukas.

Most of the sites in the north concern Greek Cypriots gone missing in 1974 while one site, Agios Loukas, is believed to be a case of a Turkish Cypriot who went missing during that time.

Another pending site has yet to be determined, as officials in both communities try to assess information and intelligence as much as possible.

Their aim is to minimise excavation time either by conducting more research ahead of time or using ground penetrating radar equipment and other scientific methods.

Cyprus has been divided by ethnic conflict for over half a century and it was further split in two in July 1974, when Turkey intervened by invading the northern part of the island, several days following a short-lived military coup engineered by Athens.

An attempt to reunify the island under a bicommunal, bizonal, federal system failed in a referendum in April 2004, days before the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union.

Turkish Cypriots overwhelmingly voted in favour hoping a reunified country would be their ticket to coming out of the shadows of a breakaway regime, recognised only by Turkey.

But Greek Cypriots voted against the plan, citing fears that Turkey was not to be trusted.

A new UN effort to ascertain whether a new conference could be possible is currently underway.

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