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De-mining operation in Cyprus continues
2005-09-12 17:45:33

Nicosia, Sep 12 (CNA) -- The Mine Action Centre in Nicosia started today a de-mining operation in a new minefield in Kaimakli area, in Nicosia.

This is the fourth minefield to be cleared by the Centre since the launch of Phase II of the Programme on the 12th of August, and the 17th since the beginning of the programme in November 2004.

Mine Action Centre Communication Officer Sadio Kante said the procedure started at 0600 local time and the first task was to make a survey and check where the mines are.

''The clearance will start afterwards but we cannot say when,'' she added.

She noted that it was not known when this minefield would be cleared and that it depended on what would be found on the ground.

Kante noted that since the beginning of the programme on November 19, 2004, 2,186 mines have been cleared, of which 1,294 were antitank and 892 antipersonnel.

The minefields cleared covered an area of 575,686 square metres.

The European Union has funded the de-mining programme in Cyprus with 2.5 millions euros in 2004 and an additional 1.5 million will be made available for 2005-2006.

The programme is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and executed by United Nations Operation Services (UNOPS) with technical assistance from the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

The Mine Action Centre staff comprises a Project Manager, an Operation Specialist, a Finance and Admin officer and a Communications Officer. There are 44 Clearance Contractors and three Quality Officers.

The Mine Action Centre was officially formed in October 2004.

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