Security Council extends UN mission in Cyprus for six months

26 July 2016

The United Nations Security Council today extended the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for six months, until 31 January 2017, and welcomed the progress of the negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to reach a comprehensive settlement.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council also urged parties to implement confidence-building measures, and looked forward to agreement on further steps, including military confidence-building measures and the opening of crossing points already agreed upon and others, which could contribute to a conducive environment for a settlement.

UNFICYP – one of the longest-running UN peacekeeping missions – has been deployed on the Mediterranean island since 1964, when fighting erupted between the Greek and Turkish communities.

Since then, the UN has also been facilitating talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership, with a view to the eventual establishment of a federal government with a single international personality, consisting of a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, each of equal status.

By the text of today's resolution, the Council also called on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore the military status quo in Strovilia, which existed there prior to 30 June 2000. In addition, the Council called on both sides to allow access to detainers and facilitate the removal of the remaining mines in Cyprus within the buffer zone, and urged both sides to extend detaining operations outside the buffer zone.

In related news today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Major General Mohammad Humayun Kabir of Bangladesh as UNFICYP Force Commander.

Major General Kabir will succeed Major General Kristin Lund of Norway, who will complete her assignment on 29 July.

“The Secretary-General pays tribute to Major General Lund's service with UNFICYP, the first female Force Commander in the United Nations, where her dedication, professionalism and leadership greatly contributed to the United Nations efforts in Cyprus,” said a statement released by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.

Major General Kabir has more than 32 years of command and staff experience, most recently as Commandant of the Bangladesh Military Academy. His experience with the UN includes service as a Military Observer with the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) from 2002 to 2003, and with the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) from 1995 to 1996.

 

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