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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Mine free in two years ]

Mine free in two years

After clearing Nicosia of landmines, international agencies aim to detonate a further 20,000 to leave the island clear

CYPRUS will be a mine-free zone within the next two years, the UN and the European Union pledged yesterday.

Only last week a UN soldier was injured during a demining process in the Ledra Street area ahead of the opening of the street’s checkpoint on Thursday. In late March a member of the demining team on the island lost the lower half of one leg when he stepped on an unmarked mine in the buffer zone near Athienou.

Nicosia was declared mine free within the buffer zone in November 2006, due to the work of the Mine Action Centre (MAC), set up under the umbrella of the EU funded, UNDP programme. Over three million square metres of land has been checked, 35 minefields cleared and 3,483 landmines disposed of.

The centre has now set itself the task of clearing a further 26 minefields – an estimated 20,000 landmines – within the next two years.

The European Union has so far funded €9 million for the Landmine and Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Project in Cyprus, which began operations in November 2004.

MAC manages and supports mine clearance and mine action related activities in the buffer zone. It provides a planning, coordination and monitoring capability to ensure that landmines and unexploded ordnance hazards are removed in a safe, time efficient and cost effective manner.

The project significantly supports development in Cyprus by:

l Facilitating the opening of new crossing points between the two communities

l Enhancing economic development by releasing farmland back to the communities

l Supporting the increases of trade between the two sides through the opening of crossing points

l Contributing to the reconciliation process in Cyprus

l Supporting the implementation of the EU’s green line regulation

According to the UN Secretary-general’s message for yesterday’s International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, “Although nearly 6,000 people fell victim to landmines and explosive remnants of war in 2007, these numbers are dramatically lower than they were only a few years ago”.

Each year, mine action programmes around the world are clearing landmines from more than 100 square kilometres of land and teaching more than seven million people how to avoid danger in infested areas.
“These efforts have helped reduce casualty rates; still, the only acceptable casualty rate is zero,” a representative for the UN Secretary-general said yesterday.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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