New video footage shows barbed wire tossed aside in east Nicosia, with local media following the story after locals west of the capital demonstrated over the weekend against a controversial government fence aimed at keeping irregular migrants at bay.
According to a report by SigmaLive, barbed wire in Aglandjia that was used to block dirt roads leading into the buffer zone has been tossed aside, leaving room for cars, animals, and people to pass through from north to south without inspection.
A video from the capital’s eastern borough showed the UN buffer zone at a distance, with the camera zooming in on what appeared to be new and old barbed wire tossed into some shrubbery by the side of a dirt road.
Aglandjia has been described in media reports as an exit point of local hunters who enter the buffer zone from unmonitored areas to hunt illegally.
A video showed the UN buffer zone at a distance, with the camera zooming in on what appeared to be new and old barbed wire tossed into some shrubbery by the side of a dirt road
The area has also been the target of local farmers who dump manure inside the buffer zone but fail to cover it properly, thus causing an unpleasant odor around the world’s last divided capital.
But on the western side of Nicosia, locals in rural areas have been publicly protesting against similar barbed wire that was placed by the government recently in an effort to block flows of irregular migrants and refugees coming from the northern part of the island.
Residents from Akaki, joined by locals from Peristerona, Astromeritis, Avlona, Denia, and Mammari, got together Sunday late morning and blocked traffic on the Nicosia-Troodos highway, saying barbed wire gates on the southern side of the UN buffer zone was keeping them out of their farms, fields, and property.
Animal Party Cyprus supported the demonstration saying the gates were causing injuries and fatalities in animals trying to pass through.
The Cypriot government maintains that the barbed wire is a necessary tool to combat undocumented migration but also illegal trade.
But some locals argue the government failed to coordinate with local communities.
Last year opposing camps butted heads over the controversial barbwire fence near the buffer zone in rural Nicosia, with viral videos showing one group cutting a piece of barbed wire and the other restoring it.
Nicosia has accused Turkey and Turkish Cypriots in the north of orchestrating migration flows to the Greek Cypriot south in order to “change demographics and cause financial problems” on the island.
Turkish Cypriots say they have proposed to the south that both communities tackle the migration issue together.
Greek Cypriots, who represent the Republic of Cyprus internationally, have sought help from fellow EU member states and have boosted their efforts to stop flows of migrants including asylum seekers coming to the island.