7,000 minefields yet to be cleared: UNFICYP

UNFICYP has said that 27,000 minefields along the ceasefire line were cleared from 2004-2011 at a cost of 14 million euros. The EU provided 80% of the funding for these operations.

Over 7,000 minefields remain in an area covering 2 million sq. metres the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) said on Monday, April 4, which marked International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

The United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and UNFICYP worked in cooperation with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to clear mine fields over this period.

There are five types of mines, mainly of US and Chinese manufacture, which target military personnel and tanks. Since 1964, there have been six deaths and six injuries from landmine blasts. The last of which happened in September 2015, luckily no one was injured.

UNFICYP says that it costs 1,000 euros to clear one minefield. Given that 7,000 minefield remain to be cleared, a further 7 million euros is required to complete the job.

Cyprus Weekly

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