November 22, 2016
Erfaringer og opplevelser fra tiden som styrkesjef på Kypros
Generalmajor Kristin Lund, Norwegian Defence International Centre (NODEFIC) ved Forsvarets stabsskole
Erfaringer og opplevelser fra tiden som styrkesjef på Kypros
The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is a United Nations peacekeeping force that was established under United Nations Security Council Resolution 186 in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting following intercommunal violence between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and to facilitate a return to normal conditions.
“In the interest of preserving international peace and security to use its best efforts to prevent a recurrence of fighting and, as necessary, to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions” (UNSCR 186/64)
Following the 1974 Greek Cypriot coup d'état and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) extended and expanded the mission to prevent the dispute turning into war, and UNFICYP was redeployed to patrol the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus and assist in the maintenance of the military status quo. Since its establishment, the force has also worked in concert with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and representatives of the two communities to seek an amicable diplomatic solution to the Cyprus dispute.
In 1964, UNFICYP consisted of military and civilian contingents drawn from Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
It has been the responsibility of the Argentinean Contingent since 16 October 1993. Sector One Headquarters and Command Company are located in San Martin Camp, which is near Skouriotissa village. Support Company finds its home at Roca Camp, near Xeros in the north. In addition to its responsibilities in Sector One, the Argentinean Contingent provides personnel to UN Flight unit and contributes to UNFICYP’s Mobile Force Reserve and Headquarters.
Sector Two is the responsibility of the British Contingent, and has been since 1993. The Sector’s Headquarters is located at Wolseley Barracks, inside the buffer zone near the western edge of the Venetian Walls that surround Nicosia’s old town.
The once-stately Ledra Palace Hotel where sector two troops are stationed has been home to UNFICYP peacekeepers since 1974 under an agreement with the Government of Cyprus.
The British Contingent also provides personnel to UNFICYP’s Mobile Force Reserve and to mission Headquarters.
Sector Four is the responsibility of a Slovakian, Hungarian, Serbian and Ukrainian Contingent.
The Sector Headquarters is located in Famagusta, at Camp General Stefanik.
Sector Four’s contingents also provide personnel for the Mobile Force Reserve, Engineers Platoon and UNFICYP Headquarters.
Other Key Units
Military Observer Liaison Officers
UNFICYP currently has about twenty-eight Military Observer Liaison Officers (MOLOs) and Sector Civilian and Military Liaison Officers (SCAMLO) serving across all three sectors.
MOLOs are involved at all levels across the Force in daily negotiations and liaison functions with both opposing forces (OPFOR).
The MOLOs form the backbone of the way UNFICYP deals with the OPFOR, be it at Regimental level in the sectors or at the highest levels in the Headquarters in the pursuance of conflict resolution, improved communications and confidence building.
The Mobile Force Reserve (MFR)
The MFR consists of Argentinean, British, Hungarian and Slovakian peacekeepers. Formed in 1997 at UNFICYP from the previous Permanent Force Reserve, it provides the Force Commander with a flexible and well-equipped response( QRF) to any situation that may arise inside the buffer zone. The MFR provides support wherever necessary to other military elements of UNFICYP, using its fleet of Tactica Armored Personnel Carriers.
The MFR is also responsible for the security of the United Nations Protected Area (UNPA) at the Old Nicosia International Airport, where UNFICYP Headquarters are situated.
UN Flight has three helicopters, with two in operation at all times. The unit is based at UNFICYP headquarters and staffed by 28 personnel from the Argentinean contingent. Using Hughes 500 and a Bell 212 helicopters, the unit conducts patrols along the buffer zone and provides logistical support for UNFICYP operations and emergency assistance such as medical evacuations as required.
UN Force Military Police Unit (FMPU)
The FMPU is a multi-national organization with personnel from the UK, Hungary, Slovakia and Argentina.
The FMPU remit is to provide protection against crime, enforce military regulations such as traffic control and general military law, and to provide policing advice and investigative assistance to scenes of crime occurring within the buffer zone.
Engineering support to UNFICYP is provided by Slovakia.
Engineers are essential part of the UNFICYP mission with the main role to construct, maintain and repair all facilities under UN responsibility. It means repair and maintain patrol tracks helicopter landing sites, camps, observation posts and patrol base facilities.
The United Nations Police (UNPOL) has been part of UNFICYP since 14th April 1964. UNPOL works in collaboration with UNFICYP’s Military and Civil Affairs components as part of a “three-pillar” concept, developed to maximize internal collaboration on all aspects of the Mission’s mandate. UNPOL contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order in the buffer zone and cooperate with UNFICYP’s military and the Civil Affairs components concerning civilian activity in the buffer zone, humanitarian matters and to assist in the return to normal conditions within the buffer zone.
UNPOL assist the Good Offices of the UN Secretary General in the implementation of measures towards achieving a comprehensive peace agreement, through the facilitation of the Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal matters, established in 2008 to launch and promote the cooperation between the local law enforcement agencies.
Duties in the buffer zone
The buffer zone exists to prevent renewed hostilities between the opposing forces in the Cyprus conflict. While Cyprus has been peaceful for a long time, shots are sometimes fired into the buffer zone. In addition, thousands of land mines still lie dormant between the de facto ceasefire lines.
These are some of the reasons UNFICYP does not allow any activity within the buffer zone without prior approval, except within specially designated Civil Use Areas. Safety and the operational requirements of UNFICYP come first, followed by adherence to ownership rights of the land within the buffer zone.
In order to manage activities within the buffer zone, UNFICYP's Civil Affairs Section manages four permit schemes: for construction, farming, work and access. All permits have a limited duration and permit holders must apply for their renewal prior to expiration of the permit.
Good Offices (GO)
The mandate of the Secretary General’s Good Offices and the Office of his Special Adviser is to support the conduct of negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders.
While there is close cooperation between UNFICYP and the Office of the Special Adviser, Espen Barth Eide in supporting the peace negotiations, there is no overlap between the two missions. UNFICYP, with its present mandate and structure, is not equipped to provide direct support to the negotiations. It does, however, play a vital role in support of the peace process by ensuring a stable environment conducive to the negotiation process. The Office of the Special Adviser has been established specifically to provide direct support to the negotiations. Consequently, the office consists of political affairs officers and thematic experts, whose main task is to provide in-house expertise and facilitate the negotiation process, including support for the working groups and technical committees and the chairing of the meetings of the leaders and of their Representatives.