Security Council renews UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus
Acting on the recommendation of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Security Council today extended the mandate of United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 15 June 2002.
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council also urged the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to rescind restrictions imposed on 30 June 2000 on the operations of UNFICYP and to restore the military status quo ante at Strovilia, a small hamlet inhabited by Greek Cypriots.
Reporting recently on the activities of the Force over the past six months, Mr. Annan wrote that under the present circumstances, "I consider the peacekeeping operation in Cyprus essential for the maintenance of the ceasefire on the island." In today's resolution, the Council noted that this view was shared by the Government of Cyprus.
Among its various duties, UNFICYP monitors the ceasefire lines in Cyprus, which extend some 180 kilometres across the island. The buffer zone between them varies in width from under 20 metres to some 7 kilometres and covers 3 per cent of the island. Surveillance is maintained through a system of observation posts, as well as through air, vehicle and foot patrols.
The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was established in 1964 and has been renewed on a periodic basis since then. As of November 2001, it comprised 1,227 troops, 35 civilian police and 139 civilian personnel.