Clashes erupted earlier today within the buffer zone near Pyla as tensions escalated between Turkish Cypriots and United Nations personnel.
This morning, UN representatives proceeded to the location to halt road construction activities that were in violation of the established status quo. The situation quickly intensified as groups of Turkish Cypriots launched attacks on the UN personnel, resulting in damage to vehicles utilized by the peacekeeping contingent.
In an official communication, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) denounced the assault on its peacekeepers and the subsequent harm inflicted on UN vehicles by individuals from the Turkish Cypriot community earlier today.
The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in #Cyprus (#UNFICYP) condemns the assaults against UN #peacekeepers and damage to @UN vehicles by personnel from the Turkish Cypriot side this morning.— UN Cyprus (@UN_CYPRUS) August 18, 2023
Read full statement here: https://t.co/awfxpgY1Et pic.twitter.com/YtK7QW2bbN
The incident occurred precisely within the demilitarized zone adjacent to Pyla when UN peacekeepers intervened to prevent unsanctioned construction endeavors within the region.
"The endangerment of UN peacekeepers' security and the destruction of UN assets are actions that cannot be tolerated and constitute grave violations of international law, subject to rigorous legal prosecution," the statement declared.
UNFICYP called upon the Turkish Cypriot faction to honor the authorized jurisdiction of the UN mission within the buffer zone, urging restraint from any activities that could further escalate the mounting tensions. Furthermore, an immediate withdrawal of all personnel and equipment from the buffer zone was demanded.
The statement additionally highlighted that UNFICYP maintains vigilant oversight over the unfolding situation and reasserted its unwavering commitment to preserving tranquility and stability within the region.