A Portuguese expert who arrived on the island a few weeks back has already submitted to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) his preliminary study on the former landfill in Turkish occupied Dikomo where the remains of 70 Greek Cypriot missing persons are believed to be buried.
The landfill underwent a revamp procedure by the Portuguese expert years ago, with EU funding, and pipelines were placed for the methane to be excluded. His initial study was already submitted to the Committee on Missing Persons and the relatives of the missing.
The expert submitted the study where he included answers as to whether it is safe to dig and the methane pipelines will not explode.
In its Saturday edition daily “Phileleftheros” reports on the matter quoting sources.
Greek Cypriot member at the CMP Leonidas Pantelides told the Cyprus News Agency that the study will be concluded end of June.
He said that the CMP wanted to know whether the excavation can be carried out in a safe way, how it will be done and the cost of the project.
He said that there was a briefing as regards the first question and the expert said that there is a safe way to go about the excavation without any risks.
Pantelides said that a piece of the so called dome on the landfill will be removed but he added that the expert and his team will prepare two more studies. The piece will be removed so that the CMP archaeologists will get access.
He also told the CNA that the tons of garbage which will be removed will have to be stored somewhere safe and then be placed back on the landfill.
Pantelides further clarified that he is not in a position to say that the procedure will be followed as planned because “authorities” in the Turkish occupied areas need to give their permission as they have only allowed the studies to take place so far and there needs to be a clear picture on the cost of the project. He said that if the budget is not enough then additional funding needs to be secured.
He also said that they are in continuous contact with the expert who pays the island frequent visits and his team is on the ground.
The Greek Cypriots from Assia village are believed to have been killed in Ornithi during the Turkish invasion and their remains were then moved to Dikomo, in the 90`s, where the landfill was in operation. The remains are believed to have been thrown in 3 pits on the edge of the landfill.
The landfill was then renovated and now what is seen there is a huge hill.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.