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20 May, 2024
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New video shows Turkish Cypriot - UN Peacekeepers clash near Pyla buffer zone

Footage shows tensions and bulldozers in incident denounced by Nicosia, EU, and UNFICYP


Fresh video footage has come to light depicting the clashes that transpired on Friday morning within the buffer zone near Pyla, involving Turkish Cypriots and United Nations personnel.

The footage, disseminated through Turkish Cypriot media channels, captures moments of tension and showcases bulldozers operated by Turkish Cypriots relocating UNFICYP vehicles.

These incidents serve as a reminder of the morning skirmish in the buffer zone, adjacent to Pyla, where confrontations unfolded between Turkish Cypriots and UN personnel, a situation denounced by Nicosia, the European Union, and UNFICYP.

Watch the videos

Specifically, UN personnel proceeded to the site this morning to obstruct ongoing roadwork deemed a violation of the established status quo. Tensions escalated, leading to physical altercations between groups of Turkish Cypriots and certain UNFICYP members, resulting in damage to peacekeeping vehicles.

Reports indicate that an early morning meeting convened under President Christodoulides'. The assembly included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the President of the Republic, the CPS Commander, the Government Spokesman, as well as officials from the Office and Press Office of the President of the Republic.

President Christodoulides is maintaining vigilant oversight over unfolding events and sustaining continuous communication with all involved parties, including the Greek government, EU High Representative Josep Borel, EU institutions, and the embassies representing permanent Security Council members.

In response, UNFICYP issued a condemnation of the attacks on UN peacekeepers and the resultant damage to UN vehicles perpetrated by Turkish Cypriot individuals during the morning hours.

The incident itself transpired within the neutral zone near Pyla, as UN peacekeepers endeavored to thwart unauthorized construction activities within the area.

The statement asserts, "Threats to the security of UN peacekeepers and damage to UN property are unacceptable and constitute a serious crime under international law, which will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

UNFICYP has called upon the Turkish Cypriot side to honor the mandated authority of the UN mission operating within the buffer zone, abstain from actions that may exacerbate tensions, and promptly withdraw all personnel and equipment from the buffer zone.

The statement concludes by emphasizing that UNFICYP remains vigilant in monitoring the situation and remains committed to preserving tranquility and stability within the region.

Cyprus  |  problem  |  Turkey  |  buffer  |  UN

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