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Security Council extends UNFICYP mandate
2002-11-26 17:49:22

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis United Nations, Nov 26 (CNA) ? The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months and decided to remain actively engaged on Cyprus.

Resolution 1442 adopted unanimously urged the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish occupation forces to lift restrictions imposed on the force and restore the military status quo ante at Strovilia village, on the south east of the island.

The Council reaffirmed all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, and in particular resolution 1251 (1999).

The resolution ''welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 15 November on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, and in particular the call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness."

It notes that ''the government of Cyprus has agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it is necessary to keep the UNFICYP beyond 15 December 2002."

The Security Council decided to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period ending 15 June 2003, and requests the Secretary General to submit a report by 1 June, 2003 on the implementation of the resolution.

It ''urges the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to rescind the restrictions imposed on 30 June 2000 on the operations of UNFICYP and to restore the military status quo ante at Strovilia,'' adding that it decides to remain "actively seized of the matter."|

''Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the UN to sensitise peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peacekeeping operations,'' the resolution said.

The Turkish occupation forces have violated the status quo in Strovilia village by moving their military check point further south. In spite of repeated calls to restore the status quo ante, they have refused to do so.

Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

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