Game hunters in Cyprus, beware! Do not enter UN-monitored buffer zone

27 October 2006

With the four-month game hunting season opening in Cyprus on Sunday, the United Nations mission there today warned hunters to avoid the 180-kilometre-long buffer zone it monitors between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots so as not to draw fire from either of the opposing forces.

“Hunters wearing camouflage outfits and carrying guns are easily mistaken for soldiers,” the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) said in a news release. “Firing guns in the area between the ceasefire lines increases tension because soldiers on duty cannot immediately determine where the shots have come from and may feel obliged to react.

“Moreover, in the past some hunters with loaded weapons have proved to be a hazard to each other and to UNFICYP patrols in the buffer zone,” it added.

Reminding hunters of “the need to conduct themselves in a responsible fashion, both for their own safety and for that of others,” it called on everyone to exercise caution and the highest standards of safety.

The UN has been involved in the Mediterranean island since March 1964 when UNFICYP was set up to prevent a recurrence of fighting, contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order, and contribute to a return to normal conditions.

Currently the fourth-oldest UN peacekeeping operation in the world, it seeks to maintain stability in the buffer zone and ensure that there is no alteration of the status quo along the two ceasefire lines drawn in 1974 after renewed fighting.


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