NICOSIA – A farmer grazing sheep in a buffer zone along the occupied Turkish-Cypriot side was chased away by armed Turkish soldiers, the Greek-Cypriot government complained to the United Nations.
While the UN has previously ignored President Nicos Anastasiades’ pleas to intervene over provocations and Turkey drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters, this issue cited the farmer reportedly having a license to be in the area.
Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry – the country is in the European Union – asked the UN to investigate the incident, said The Cyprus Mail, which happened in the area of Deneia between the two sides.
Citing the head of the Deneia community, Christakis Panayiotou, the paper said the soldiers came down from a watchtower to shoo him away and that one allegedly armed his weapon.
The farmer said they also threw rocks at him and the UN peacekeeping force on the island said that, “We need to allow the investigation to be completed before making any conclusions.”
“The safety of civilians inside the UN buffer zone remains our top priority,” it said in a post on Twitter without indication if any of its patrols were in the area that has seen tension between the sides.