An ongoing protest on Saturday at Ledra Street checkpoint in divided Nicosia has Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots jointly calling on the government to open checkpoints closed because of the coronavirus scare.
Holding banners saying “Hands off Cyprus, neo-nazis” and “One Cyprus, a united federal Cyprus” the demonstrators also chanted that citizens of this country refuse to be separated.
Minor clashes have been recorded but not as violent as those over the weekend between protesters and police members and Greek Cypriot soldiers manning the green line.
The government’s decision 10 days ago to temporarily close four crossing points along the buffer zone was also slammed by UNFICYP on Thursday.
“While the UN supports all effective measures to address any potential public health emergency, it is imperative for the two sides to coordinate closely in order to provide a comprehensive response,” UNFICYP said in a written statement.
However, a senior government official said the force has no competence on the issue and that this was a public health and not a political decision intended to free resources to step up screening at the other checkpoints which remain open.
The opening of the crossings since 2003 has allowed Cypriots freedom of movement across the island.
This contributed to a return to normal conditions and facilitated contact and interaction for those who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity.