Cyprus

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 25 June 2019

Summary: Cyprus has made little to no progress toward ratifying the convention, which it signed in 2009. Cyprus has participated in several meetings of the convention, most recently in September 2018. It abstained from the vote on a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2018.

Cyprus states that it has never used or produced cluster munitions. It transferred a stockpile of cluster munitions to Bulgaria in 2014 for the purposes of destruction, where 2,416 cluster munitions were destroyed in 2018.

Policy

The Republic of Cyprus signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 23 September 2009.

In November 2018, Cyprus repeated its long-held position that its ratification of the convention is dependent on first resolving “the abnormal security situation on the island.” [1]

In December 2018, Cyprus abstained from the vote on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 73/54 urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” [2] It has abstained from voting on this annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015. It is one of only two signatories that did not vote in favor of the resolution.

Cyprus participated in one international conference of the Oslo Process to develop the convention text in Vienna in December 2007, but attended the formal negotiations of the convention in Dublin in May 2008 and the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008 only as an observer.

Cyprus subsequently signed the convention at the UN in New York in September 2009, becoming the 100th signatory to the convention. Cyprus indicated it would complete ratification following the introduction of the legislation approving ratification in the House of Representatives in 2011. [3] However, in April 2013, a government official informed the Monitor that ratification of the convention had “unfortunately…been put on hold” due to “other considerations.” [4] In May 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to a Monitor query about the status of the ratification by raising “the fact that Turkey, whose occupation forces have been stationed illegally on Cyprus since 1974, has not yet joined the convention.” [5] Since 2011, various government officials have communicated with the Monitor and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) about the ratification process. [6]

Cyprus has participated in several Meetings of States Parties of the convention, most recently the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2018. [7]

Cyprus has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2018. [8]

Cyprus is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Cyprus is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, and transfer

Cyprus informed the Monitor in 2012 that it has never used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions. [9]

Stockpiling and destruction

Cyprus has never shared information on its stockpiled cluster munitions or provided a voluntary Article 7 transparency report detailing such information. Instead, information on Cypriot cluster munitions has come from Bulgaria, where they were shipped for destruction.

Cyprus transferred 3,760 4.2-inch OF projectiles containing 2,559 M20G submunitions for the GRM 20 mortar system to Bulgaria in 2014 for the purposes of destruction, according to Bulgaria’s 2017 transparency report for the convention. [10] During 2018, a total of 2,416 of the 4.2-inch OF projectiles were destroyed by private company EXPAL Bulgaria, according to Bulgaria’s April 2019 transparency report. [11] Another 1,344 4.2-inch OF projectiles still need to be destroyed and Bulgaria’s transparentcy report indicates that this destruction process should be “finalized” by 1 October 2019.

Cyprus has 122mm BM-21 Grad multiple launch rockets, but it is not known if these weapons have cluster munition warheads. [12] Cyprus acquired other systems capable of delivering submunitions, including Zuzana 155mm howitzers imported via Greece from Slovakia in 2007 and M63 Plamen and M77 Oganj multiple-barrel rocket launchers from Yugoslavia in the 1980s. [13]

Additionally, in 2010, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official asserted that Turkish armed forces “have stocked considerable quantities of cluster bombs in the occupied territory of the Republic [of Cyprus].” [14]

Cyprus has not indicated if it will retain cluster munitions for research or training.



 [1] Explanation of Vote by Cyprus, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 8 November 2018.

 [2]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018.

 [3] Statement of Cyprus, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 16 September 2011. In May 2011, a government official said that the draft ratification legislation and the text of the convention translated into Greek had been sent to the House of Representatives for approval. Email from Maria Michael, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the UN in Geneva, 27 May 2011. After its adoption in parliament, the ratification legislation must be signed by the president.

 [4] Letter from Basil Polemitis, Security Policy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, Advocacy Director, Arms Division, Human Rights Watch (HRW), 24 April 2013.

 [5] Letter from Elena Rafti, Security Policy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, HRW, 27 May 2015.

 [6] In April 2014, a Cypriot representative informed the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that the ratification process had been put on hold for three years because of the country’s financial situation and International Monetary Fund (IMF) restrictions that inhibit Cyprus from spending funds to meet its anticipated stockpile destruction obligations. CMC meeting with Georgeos S. Yiangou, Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 10 April 2014. In September 2012, officials said that draft ratification legislation introduced in 2011 was still awaiting parliamentary approval, leaving the ratification process “stalled” but “not suspended.” CMC meeting with George Stavrinou, Attaché, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012.

 [7] Cyprus attended the Meetings of States Parties held in 2011–2012 and 2016–2017. It also participated in the convention’s intersessional meetings in 2011–2013.

 [8]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 73/182, 17 December 2018. Cyprus voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2017.

 [9] Letter from Dr. Kozakou-Marcoullis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, HRW, 19 April 2012; and email from George Stavrinou, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 August 2012.

 [10] Bulgaria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 29 June 2017.

 [11] Bulgaria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2019.

 [12] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2005–2006 (London: Routledge, 2005), p. 117; and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2007–2008, CD-edition, 15 January 2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

 [13] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “Arms Transfers Database.” Recipient report for Cyprus for the period 1950–2011, generated on 6 June 2012.

 [14] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Counsellor, Political Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2010.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 02 October 2012

Commitment to Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Considers ratification law and existing law sufficient

Transparency reporting

2012 (for calendar year 2011)

Policy

The Republic of Cyprus signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 17 January 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 July 2003. Cyprus stated that domestic implementation of the treaty is achieved through the legislation adopted for ratification.[1]

Cyprus attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November–December 2010 where it made a statement on mine clearance.[2] It also participated in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012, where it made a statement on its Article 5 clearance extension request.[3]

In 2012, Cyprus submitted its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report covering calendar year 2011. It had previously submitted nine Article 7 reports.[4]

Cyprus is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Cyprus has previously stated that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[5] In its initial Article 7 report, Cyprus declared a total of 48,475 stockpiled antipersonnel mines before the destruction program started in December 2003.[6] Cyprus completed stockpile destruction on its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 July 2007.[7]

Cyprus initially retained 1,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes.[8] This number did not change between 2003 and 2008, indicating that none of the mines retained were consumed in training activities over that period. Six of the mines were transferred in 2009 to the British security and demining company ArmorGroup (now known as G4S Ordnance Management) for training activities, reducing the total to 994.[9]

At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2010, Cyprus announced that, following the adoption of the Cartagena Action Plan at the Second Review Conference in December 2009, the government of Cyprus would conduct a review of the number of mines it retains for training and development purposes to ensure it is the “minimum number absolutely necessary.” As a result of the review, Cyprus stated it had decided to reduce the number of mines it retained by destroying 494 mines in 2010, leaving a total of 500.[10] In October 2010 Cyprus proceeded to destroy 494 antipersonnel mines it had retained at the Firing Range of Kalo Chorio, Larnaca.[11]

In its 2012 Article 7 report, Cyprus reported no change in 2011 on the number of antipersonnel mines it is retaining from that of the reduced amount of 500 declared in 2010.[12]

 



[1] “Law Ratifying the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” Law No. 37 (III), 2002. In addition, the “Law Concerning Explosive Materials of 2005” makes it a crime to use, produce, stockpile, or transfer any explosive material without the necessary authority. Law No. 19 (1) 2005, Article 4. The law includes penal sanctions.

[2] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.

[3] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 22 May 2012. Notes by the ICBL-CMC.

[4] Previous Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports were submitted for calendar years 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and for the period 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2003.

[5] The United States government identified Cyprus as a past producer, but Cyprus has denied it. See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 704.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2003), Form B. Cyprus has at times reported other numbers, but officials have stated this is the correct total. See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 374–375 for details. The stockpile initially declared consisted of eight types or variants of mines from China, Singapore, Taiwan, and the US: M2A1 (474), M2A3 (179), M16 (4,086), M16A1 (16,440), M16A2 (20,146), M16E3 (278), VS-50 (4,450), and GLD-112 (2,422).

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2007), Form G. The destroyed mines were M2A1/A4, M16A1/A2, M16E3, VS-50, and GLD-112. The report does not provide the number of each type.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008) Form D. The form states “Unchanged from last reporting.” The mines are stored at the National Guard warehouse at Palodia village near Limassol and are used by Cyprus Mine Action Centre. The total retained included 100 each of types M2A1, M2A3, M16A1, and M16A2, as well as 200 each of M16, VS-50, and GLD-112 types. While the 1,000 figure remained the same since 2003, Cyprus changed the composition in the 2006 report to 200 M16 mines and zero M16E3 instead of 100 M16 and 100 M16E3.

[9] The six mines included three of type GLD-112 and three of type VS-50. Email from Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23 June 2010; Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2010; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form D.2. The Article 7 report only indicates the transfer of the mines and it is not clear if they were destroyed by ArmorGroup during training.

[10] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2010. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010) Form D. Cyprus declared retaining 50 each of M2A1, M2A3, M16A1, and M16A2 antipersonnel mines, and 100 mines each of M16, VS-50, and GLD-112 antipersonnel mines. The mines are stored within a facility at the National Guard, Palodia, Limassol district, and are used by the Cyprus Mine Action Centre.

[12] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form D.


Mine Action

Last updated: 03 November 2018

 

Treaty status

State Party to Mine Ban Treaty

State Party
Article 5 deadline: 1 July 2019
Extension requested to 1 July 2022

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

1.29km2 SHA and 0.43kmCHA total mine contamination (antivehicle and antipersonnel mines, the majority of hazardous areas are only antivehicle mine contaminated)

Cluster munition remnants

None

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

United Nations (UN)-supported mine action operations are coordinated by UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) on behalf of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)

Mine action standards

All UN-supported mine action operations conducted in accordance with the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS)
National technical standards and guidelines updated in 2016

Operators in 2017

Mines Advisory Group (MAG)
DOKING (contracted by the Turkish armed forces)

Land release in 2017

Landmines

0.02km2cleared, 0.31km2cancelled and 0.02km2reduced.
88 antipersonnel mines and 87 antivehicle mines destroyed.

Progress

Landmines

Permission for UNFICYP to access areas outside the buffer zone dividing Cyprus remains limited. The UNFICYP demining capacity was demobilized in November 2017 due to the breakdown of UN-facilitated settlement talks between the two sides in July 2017

Note: CHA = confirmed hazardous area; SHA = suspected hazardous area.

Contamination

The Republic of Cyprus is contaminated by antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. The island has been divided geographically and politically by what was once a heavily mined, 180km-long buffer zone since 1974, following Turkish forces’ operations in the north of the island. Minefields were laid by both the Greek Cypriot National Guard and the TurkishArmed Forces. The exact extent of the remaining mine contamination across the island is not known, and permission for UNFICYP to access areas outside the buffer zone remains limited.[1]

UNFICYP data indicates that at the end of 2017, 29 SHAs and 18 CHAs remained across Cyprus covering just over 1.7km2. Contamination in these areas is either mixed (antipersonnel and antivehicle mines), of unknown nature, or from antivehicle mines only (see table below).[2]

In 2017, UNFICYP undertook a complete review of all demining documentation and records, which resulted in a reduction in the number of recorded SHAs, from 67 to 47, and in the estimated contaminated area nationwide, from just over 3.1km2 to just over 1.7km2.[3]

Contamination (as ofend of 2017)[4]

Location

CHAs

Type of contamination

Area (m2)

SHAs

Type of contamination

Area (m2)

South of the buffer zone (in territory controlled by the Republic of Cyprus)

13

Antivehiclemines

418,543

15

Antivehiclemines

299,898

Buffer Zone

4*

Antivehiclemines (3), Unknown (1)

703,581

0

N/A

N/A

North of the buffer zone (in territory controlled by Turkish Cypriot authorities)

1

Mixed

170,493

14

Unknown

130,784

Total

18

 

1,292,617

29

 

430,682

Note: N/A = not applicable.
*Cyprus considers that only one minefield lies in the buffer zone, and that the remaining three are in areas under its control.[5]

Territory controlled by the Republic of Cyprus

Cyprus has reported that no antipersonnel mines remain in the minefields laid by the National Guard that are on territory under its effective control.[6]

Buffer zone

UNMAS records four mined areas remaining in the buffer zone.[7] In July 2018, a report of the UN Secretary-General on the UN operation in Cyprus noted that “the two sides have not begun clearance of the four known remaining minefields in the buffer zone, of which three belong to the National Guard and one to the Turkish forces. While the Turkish Cypriot side has indicated that it would accept the clearance of all four areas as a package, the Greek Cypriot side maintains the position that its three minefields are required to counter a perceived threat.”[8] This restates the situation described in previous reports since 2015.[9] UNFICYP reported that as of December 2017 three of the mined areas in the buffer zone are contaminated with antivehicle mines and that contamination in the fourth mined area is unknown.[10]

However, according to the Cyprus’ Article 7 transparency reports, the sole remaining minefield in the buffer zone is located in Turkish forces-controlled area, close to the village of Deryneia[11] (also spelt Derynia or Dherynia). In May 2016, in response to a request for clarification, a government diplomat in Geneva stated that the government of Cyprus considers the other three minefields to be under its control and not within the buffer zone. In addition, the official stated that the three minefields in question do not contain antipersonnel mines.[12]

In 2018, the UN Security Council called on “both sides to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency and while respecting UNFICYP’s mandate, in consultations with UNFICYP on the demarcation of the buffer zone, and on the United Nations 1989 aide-memoire, with a view to reaching early agreement on outstanding issues.”[13] This reiterates the statement made in previous resolutions.[14] According to UNFICYP, such demarcation would, in particular, help to resolve any ambiguity or lack of agreement between the sides and the UN about the precise location of the buffer zone.[15]

Turkish Cypriot-controlled territory in northern Cyprus

The extent of mine contamination in areas controlled by Turkish forces is not known. However, Cyprus claimed in its latest Article 7 transparency report (for 2017) that at least 20 minefields laid and maintained in the occupied areas by Turkish forces are yet to be cleared of antipersonnel mines, of which one is situated within the buffer zone.[16] According to the UN, some military mine clearance appears to have been conducted over most locations that are still recorded as minefields.[17]

During a meeting on 15 May 2015, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, provided the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mustafa Akinci, with coordinates of the 28 known minefields laid by the National Guard prior to Turkey’s military action in 1974.[18] These minefields, located north of Nicosia towards the Pentadaktylos mountain range, in what is today Turkish-occupied area, contained 1,006 antipersonnel mines.[19]

On 4 June 2015, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community asked
for assistance to address the 28 minefields on Turkish-controlled territory in the north. In response, and with a view to facilitating future demining, UNFICYP and UNMAS worked to refine the data and map the minefields, which were suspected to contain both antivehicle and antipersonnel mines.[20]

Survey of the minefields was conducted and completed in the summer of 2015 by UNMAS, supported by Turkish Engineering Forces, in conjunction with UNFICYP.[21] The survey resulted in three of the 28 areas being found to have a higher risk of mine contamination and to require technical survey, as well as an additional two suspected locations identified by the local community.[22] In July 2017, a report of the UN Secretary-General stated that “UNFICYP had completed demining operations on the last 2 of the 28 legacy minefields, the locations of which were provided to the Turkish Cypriot leader by the Greek Cypriot leader as part of a package of confidence-building measures announced in May 2015,”[23]

In addition, there is a minefield just north of the buffer zone in Mammari, where heavy rains led to mines being washed into the buffer zone in 2014 and 2015. UNFICYP has raised the issue of clearance of this minefield with Turkish forces and has offered assistance in this regard.[24] In 2017, a small area of the Mammari minefield was cleared by a Croatian commercial operator contracted by the Turkish Armed Forces.[25]

Program Management

UN-supported mine action operations in Cyprus are coordinated by UNMAS on behalf of UNFICYP.[26] In July 2016, UNMAS became an integral component of UNFICYP, providing its expertise in mine action planning and coordination, quality assurance oversight, and management of mine action information.[27]

UN-facilitated settlement talks between the two sides in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in July 2017, came to an abrupt halt after 10 days. Since the breakdown of these talks, no further access has been granted to the SHAs in the UN’s Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database.[28] The lack of access resulted in the demobilization of the UN demining capacity on 20 November 2017. UNFICYP retains a technical capacity and non-technical survey contingency to conduct new activities when access is permitted.[29]

UNMAS also provides assistance to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) to ensure safe access to areas where it conducts activities and to UNFICYP for explosive ordnance disposal call-out tasks.[30]

Legislation and standards

All UN-supported mine action operations in Cyprus are said to be conducted in accordance with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS).[31]

In 2016, to guide UN operations, UNMAS updated the national technical standards and guidelines that are used in UNFICYP to reflect current best practice and to ensure the highest standards are applied for UNFICYP clearance operations.[32]

Quality management

UNMAS is responsible for conducting quality management of all UN-supported mine action operations in Cyprus. In addition, all task documentation was quality-controlled by UNMAS before acceptance by UNFICYP and the relevant authorities.[33]

Information management

UNFICYP uses the IMSMA database. In 2017, a review and reconciliation of all electronic and hardcopy minefield database documentation revealed that a number of SHAs had already been cleared and/or cancelled. However, due to capacity limitations between 2011 and 2016, the information had not been removed from the database. The review resulted in the removal of seven SHAs (totaling over 950,000m2) from the database.[34]

Operators

In 2017, MAG conducted survey and clearance on behalf of UNMAS and UNFICYP using a 17-strong team that included seven deminers. In July 2017, the team was reduced to five deminers, a medic, and a driver. The entire team was then demobilized in November 2017 due to a budget reduction by UNFICYP following the failure of talks at the Conference on Cyprus in July 2017.[35]

Clearance of the Mammari minefield was conducted by DOKING, a Croatian commercial operator, and quality assurance was conducted by MAG. Both companies were directly contracted by the Turkish Armed Forces.[36]

Land Release

In Turkish Cypriot-controlled territory in northern Cyprus, 22,000mwas released through clearance in 2017, 306,237m2 was cancelled by non-technical survey, and 15,853m2 reduced through technical survey.[37] As noted above, database clean-up also removed almost 1km2 from IMSMA.

Survey in 2017

In 2017 in northern Cyprus, MAG, the implementing partner of UNMAS in the region, undertook non-technical survey of six minefields and non-technical and technical survey of one minefield, cancelling 306,237m2 by non-technical survey and reducing 15,853mby technical survey (see table below).[38]

Survey of mined area in 2017[39]

Location

Area Cancelled (m²)

Area Reduced (m2)

Gungor

154,791

15,853

Mouttes

67,989

0

Mazeri

60,278

0

Mia Milia

3,384

0

Lapithos

3,607

0

Argidaki

2,937

0

Koutsoventis

13,251

0

Total

306,237

15,853

 

Clearance in 2017

DOKING cleared a small area of Alakoy, in Mammari in northern Cyprus, adjacent to an area where flooding had previously washed mines into the buffer zone. A total of 22,000m2 was cleared with the destruction of 88 antipersonnel mines and 87 antivehicle mines.[40]

Progress in 2018

In 2018, UNMAS and UNFICYP were planning to support activities in accordance with the priorities and requests for assistance from the two sides. Through its advocacy and engagement in 2018, the UN was encouraging the two sides to:

  • Establish a Mine Action Dialogue Mechanism to identify SHAs and/or CHAs for reciprocal survey and removal;
  • Conduct a review of SHA data with UNFICYP to initiate the removal of legacy information from IMSMA for areas that no longer pose a threat;
  • Restart the process of non-technical and technical survey to properly identify the scope and content of SHAs and CHAs; and
  • Advocate/assist/conduct clearance to continue progress towards a mine-free Cyprus.

Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with a second three-year extension granted by States Parties
in December 2015), Cyprus is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 July 2019. It will not meet this deadline and in 2018 it submitted a request for a further extension of three years until 1 July 2022. The request consisted of a single page, referring back to the 2015 request.

Cyprus has reported clearing all antipersonnel mines in mined areas that it accepted were under its control within 10 years of becoming a State Party, namely by 1 July 2013. A three-year extension to its Article 5 deadline until 1 July 2016 was requested and approved in 2012, due to antipersonnel mines remaining in territory occupied by the Turkish forces, which it was unable to clear.[41]

On 27 March 2015, Cyprus submitted a second Article5 deadline extension request, seeking a further three-year extension, until 1 July 2019. The reason cited for the second extension request was the same as the first, namely that Cyprus does not have effective control over remaining contaminated areas.[42] According to the website of the Permanent Mission of Cyprus in Geneva, “Once Turkey ceases the military occupation of Cyprus and returns control of the occupied areas under proper conditions to the authorities of the Republic, they [the Republic of Cyprus] will be able to assume full responsibility and compliance with the provisions of Article 5 for the entire sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus.”[43] On 2 February 2018, Cyprus submitted a third Article 5 deadline request, seeking a further three-year extension until 1 July 2022. The reason cited for the third extension request was the same as the second and the first, namely that certain parts of Cyprus are occupied by the Turkish Armed Forces and therefore outside of the control of the government.[44]

Turkey’s original Article 5 clearance deadline was 1 March 2014. In 2013, States Parties granted Turkey an eight-year extension until 1 March 2022, for clearance of mines in Turkey, but Turkey did not request additional time for clearance of the areas it controls in northern Cyprus.[45]

At the intersessional meetings in June 2015, Cyprus stated that “negotiations for a settlement of the Cyprus question have recently resumed and there are good reasons for being hopeful that this will in fact be the last extension request that Cyprus needs to submit.”[46]

The July 2016 report by the Secretary-General also noted that both the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader have “continued to engage in settlement talks with dedication and perseverance,” and “underlined their commitment to intensify their efforts in the coming months with the aim of reaching a comprehensive settlement agreement within 2016.”[47] Settlement talks between the two sides were held in July 2017 in Switzerland but broke down after 10 days.[48]

The UN Security Council, most recently in July 2018, has called on both sides to facilitate clearance of all remaining mined areas on the island.[49] The council noted with regret “that the sides are withholding access to the remaining minefields in the buffer zone, and that demining in Cyprus must continue.” It also noted “the continued danger posed by mines in Cyprus,” referring to “proposals and discussions aswell as positive initiatives on demining,” and urging “rapid agreement on facilitating the recommencement of demining operations and clearance of the remaining minefields.”[50] The council called on “both sides to allow access to deminers and to facilitate the removal of the remaining mines in Cyprus within the buffer zone,” and urged “both sides to extend demining operations outside the buffer zone.”[51]

A January 2018 report of the UN Secretary General, noted the completion of the outstanding non-technical surveys from the list of 28 legacy minefields and also the comprehensive review of the UNFICYP mine action database. However, it was also observed that the “two sides have not begun clearance of the four known remaining minefields in the buffer zone” and that “no additional areas have been released for survey or clearance.”[52] There are currently no demining operations forecasted for UNMAS-UNFICYP in 2018.[53]

In 2017, Turkish forces rejected the request made by UNFICYP to clear a small portion of land around one of its permanently manned positions in the buffer zone adjacent to the Deryneia/Derinya minefield for “safety reasons.”[54]

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from“Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Stefan De Coninck, UNMAS, and Maj. Rich Pearce, UNFICYP), 26 September 2017.

[2] Ibid., 10 September 2018.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018), Form C; and, interview with Demitris Samuel, Deputy Permanent Representative, Cyprus Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 19 May 2016.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for calendar year 2018), Form C.

[7] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS, 10 September 2018.

[8] “Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2018/676, 6 July 2018, para. 44.

[9] Ibid., UN doc. S/2015/517, 2 July 2015, para. 14.

[10] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Stefan De Coninck, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 10 September 2018.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018), Form C.

[12] Interview with Demitris Samuel, Cyprus Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 19 May 2016.

[13] UN Security Council Resolution 2430 (2018), para. 13.

[14] UN Security Council Resolution 2338 (2017), para. 9; and UN Security Council Resolution 2398 (2018), para. 12.

[15] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Joseph Huber, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 24 July 2017.

[16] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form C.

[17] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Joseph Huber, UNMAS, and Maj. Mike Holgate, Mine Action Officer, UNFICYP), 6 October 2016.

[18] “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2015/517, 2 July 2015, para. 3.

[19] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form C.

[20] “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2015/517, 2 July 2015, para. 13.

[21] Ibid.; and email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Timothy Roberts, Chief of Operations, UNMAS Lebanon), 4 October 2015.

[22] Emails from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Timothy Roberts, UNMAS Lebanon), 4 October 2015; and (based on information provided by Stefan De Coninck, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 26 September 2017.

[23] “Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2017/586, 10 July 2017, p. 3.

[24] Ibid.; and email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Joseph Huber, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 24 July 2017.

[25] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Stefan De Coninck, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 10 September 2018.

[26] Ibid.

[27] UNMAS, “Cyprus,” undated.

[28] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Stefan De Coninck, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 10 September 2018.

[29] “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2018/25, 9 January 2018, para. 14.

[30] Ibid., para. 12.

[31] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Joseph Huber, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 24 July 2017.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Stefan De Coninck, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 10 September 2018.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 30 April 2012.

[42] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 27 March 2015.

[43] Permanent Mission of Cyprus in Geneva, “Disarmament and Non-proliferation,” undated.

[44] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 2 February 2018.

[45] Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2013.

[46] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Committee on Mine Action, Geneva, 25 June 2015.

[47] “Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2016/598, 8 July 2016, p. 1.

[49] UN Security Council Resolutions 2026 (2011), 2197 (2015), 2234 (2015), 2263 (2016), 2300 (2016), and 2338 (2017).

[50] UN Security Council Resolution 2430 (2018), 12th preambular para.

[51] Ibid., para. 11.

[52] “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2018/25, 9 January 2018, paras. 12 and 14.

[53] Email from Julie Myers, UNMAS (based on information provided by Stefan De Coninck, UNMAS, and Maj. Pearce, UNFICYP), 10 September 2018.

[54] “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus,” UN doc. S/2018/25, 9 January 2018, para. 14.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 31 October 2011

In 2010, no international contributions towards mine action in Cyprus were reported. The mine action program in Cyprus has been largely supported by the European Commission (EC). Since 2006 the EC has contributed €7,500,000 (US$10,224,450) through UNDP.[1] With each contract two years in length, there were no contributions in 2005 and 2008.[2] In 2006 the EC provided €1,000,000 ($1,256,300) to UNDP to bridge a funding gap between contracts with UNDP.[3]

Cyprus has not reported contributions to its mine action program since 2005 with the exception of 2008 when it reported €100,000 ($147,260).[4]

Summary of contributions received: 2006–2010[5]

Year

National contributions

(€)

National contributions

($)

International contributions

(€)

International contributions

($)

Total contributions

($)

2010

0

0

0

0

0

2009

0

0

2,500,000

3,483,750

3,483,750

2008

100,000

147,260

0

0

147,260

2007

0

0

4,000,000

5,484,400

5,484,400

2006

0

0

1,000,000

1,256,300

1,256,300

Total

100,000

147,260

7,500,000

10,224,450

10,371,710

In 2010, Cyprus contributed $272,940 to the International Trust Fund for Demining and MineVictims Assistance (ITF) for clearance activities in Lebanon. In 2009, it contributed $147,680 to the ITF. [6]

Summary of international contributions made by Cyprus: 2009–2010

Year

Amount

($)

2010

272,940

2009

147,680

Total

420,620

 

 



[1] Average exchange rates: 2009: €1=US$ 1.3935; and 2007: €1=US$1.3711. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011. Average exchange rates: 2006: €1=US$1.2563. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2007.

[4] See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 374. Average exchange rate for 2008: €1=US$1.4726. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011.

[5]  See previous editions of Landmine Monitor; and ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cyprus: Support for Mine Action,” www.the-monitor.org, 6 October 2010.

[6]  ITF, “Donors: Donations Overview” www.itf-fund.si; and ITF, “Annual Report 2010.”


Casualties

Last updated: 21 October 2018

The last reported casualty in the Republic of Cyprus was in 2015, when a farmer driving a tractor detonated a landmine and experienced shock, but did not incur serious physical injuries.[1] Prior to 2015, the last recorded mine or explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualty in Cyprus occurred in 2009, when a deminer was killed by an antivehicle mine in a clearance accident.[2]

Between 1999 and the end of 2016, the Monitor identified 10 mine/ERW casualties in Cyprus (two people were killed and eight injured).[3] Six casualties were civilians (four men, one woman, and one child) and the remaining four casualties were deminers. Among the civilian casualties, four were Iraqi migrants trying to cross the north-south border illegally, and two were farmers.[4]

Before 1999, at least four casualties were identified: three peacekeepers of the United Nations (UN) Force in Cyprus were killed by mines between 1974 and 1998, and a 37-year-old man was killed by a mine when he followed his dog into a minefield in the buffer zone in 1997.[5]

Cyprus ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2011.



[1]Landmine explodes under tractor in Mammari,” Cyprus Mail, 28 September 2015; “UN issues landmine hazard warning,” Cyprus Mail, 13 February 2015; and “Cypriot farmer drives over landmine,” Global Times, 29 September 2015.

[2] Email from Simon Porter, Programme Manager, UN Mine Action Centre in Cyprus, 13 April 2010.

[3] The Monitor identified nine casualties between 1999 and 2009: one casualty in 1999, one in 2004, six in 2008, and one in 2009. See previous Landmine Monitor reports on Cyprus available on the Monitor website.

[4] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2004).

[5] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 1999: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, April 1999).