The UN Security Council has published a strategic review of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Part of the report is reproduced as follows:
“As the only bicommunal village in the buffer zone, Pyla creates numerous opportunities for tension, ranging from unauthorised casinos to drug trafficking and other serious crimes. The review team found that while the Turkish Cypriot police deal with criminal activities involving Turkish Cypriots and the Cyprus police deal with those involving Greek Cypriots, most criminal activities and other incidents and tensions are intercommunal, requiring the intervention and support of UNFICYP police to resolve any ensuing conflicts.
“Civilian demonstrations, though mostly peaceful, may nevertheless turn violent, including when activists attempt to provoke reactions from the other side. Most recently, in July 2017, nationalist demonstrators from both sides faced each other at the Ledra Street crossing point in Nicosia, with those in the south burning flags, throwing projectiles and beginning to dismantle the fences that restrict access to th e buffer zone. Timely liaison with the Force and the visible presence of UNFICYP military forces ensured that the situation was brought under control by the Cyprus police.
“With regard to the negotiations towards a settlement, the two sides remain in a “period of reflection”. While the review team focused on its assigned task, that is, the review of UNFICYP, interlocutors on both sides of the island took the opportunity to note that talks could resume at an appropriate time after the upcoming 2018 elections and under appropriate circumstances. The current status of the talks inevitably creates opportunities for the hardening of positions and mistrust, making it all the more important for UNFICYP to maintain stability and help create conditions conducive to a political settlement.”
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