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25 April, 2024
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UN raises alarm over unauthorized construction in buffer zone

UNFICYP calls for respect of mandated authority, urges dialogue to prevent tensions

Source: CNA

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has expressed concern about plans for unauthorized construction work by the Turkish Cypriot side inside the UN buffer zone, near Pyla and has warned against it.

In a press release, UNFICYP said it has warned against unauthorized construction activities inside the UN buffer zone and underlined the importance of respecting the mission’s mandated authority.

UNFICYP added it "has been engaging with both sides and made progress in fostering a mutually agreeable way forward in the Pyla/Pile area" and calls "on the Turkish Cypriot side to continue these efforts before construction work in Pyla/Pile commences."

Preventing tensions and maintaining the status quo across the UN buffer zone remains our most important priorities, the Force said, adding "The mission is continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure that calm and stability are maintained."

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

UNFICYP was established by Security Council resolution 186 (1964), with a mandate "to prevent a recurrence of fighting and, as necessary, to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions". While the mandate of the Mission remains the same to date, its responsibilities evolved following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, to include supervising the ceasefire lines, maintaining a buffer zone, and facilitating inter-communal contacts.

Cyprus  |  Turkey

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