NewsLocalUN to remove mines from 18 locations in Cyprus

UN to remove mines from 18 locations in Cyprus

The UN will remove mines from 18 areas of Cyprus as part of the confidence building measures agreed by President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in February.

According to CNA, the UNFICYP, the National Guard and the military in the occupied north met last week to determine the areas where the demining will take place.

They selected nine locations in RoC-controlled areas and nine locations in the occupied north, CNA reports.

A source told CNA that inspections in the 18 areas will start soon. A team of experts from abroad will come to Cyprus to determine the geological characteristics of the areas and make a plan for the demining.

UNFICYP data indicates that there are 47 suspected hazardous areas in Cyprus that may be contaminated with mines or explosive remnants of war, amounting to approximately 1.7 million square metres of land.

According to data from the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Cyprus, until October 2018, a total of 199,783m² of land in the northern, Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus was released since August 2016 to remove the threat of mines and to facilitate confidence building measures, agricultural and other activities. Moreover, 7 anti-tank mines were recovered and destroyed, while six mortars were removed.

In the buffer zone, UNMAS says that 121,891m² of land was released and unexploded ordnance was removed, in an effort to facilitate safe operations for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), confidence building measures, and agricultural activities.

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