Cyprus: UN force starts to destroy stockpile of 4,500 weapons

Cyprus: UN force starts to destroy stockpile of 4,500 weapons

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFYCIP) today began destroying a stockpile of 4,500 weapons that had been in UN safekeeping since 1972.

The weapons, consisting of automatic rifles, machine pistols, heavy machine guns and mortars, were originally imported to Cyprus in January 1972 along with 5 million rounds of ammunition.

At the time, to minimize the increase in tension, UNFICYP negotiated an agreement under which the weapons and ammunition were placed in UN custody for safekeeping.

The UN destroyed the ammunition between September 1999 and March 2000, the UN mission said, adding that the current task is expected to take up to two months to complete.