Cyprus: UN mission welcomes European Commission’s support for de-mining projects
The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) today lauded the signing of a €4 million contract between the European Commission (EC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to clear remaining mines inside the buffer zone patrolled by the world body.
In a press release, the mission commended the EC for its continued financial assistance “to continue the important task of rendering the buffer zone free of all mines and ultimately returning the land to civilian use.”
To date, the UNDP – through its Partnership for the Future, Mine Action Centre programme which was launched in November 2004 – has released more than 2 million square metres of land and removed over 2,800 mines from the Mediterranean island.
Last November, Nicosia, the capital, was declared mine-free after the Partnership cleared the area of its last mines, capping off a two-year campaign.
UNFICYP pledged its full support to the Partnership in completing “this important work” in the buffer zone, which is 180 kilometres long and covers around three per cent of the surface area of Cyprus.