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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-04-17

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    It is said that revisiting history is a means of finding new ways forward. Twenty years ago, a colleague and I embarked on a tour of the Nicosia Buffer Zone. It was to the young journalists, at the time, a profound experience. Twenty years on, we traced back our steps in the hope that things might have changed, as the future remains uncertain. However, the experience remains the same. A sense of despair when visiting an area where time has stood still and the only residents are the ghosts of the past.

    The United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus arranged for a tour of the Buffer Zone with another two journalists and coordinated the entire trip as the area is under their administration. Our journey began at Beaver Lodge Agios Kasianos where we had arrived from Ledra Palace Hotel on board a minibus.

    In the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, this area suffered significant casualties by both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot forces, according to the UN. It sustains quite heavy damage.

    Lieutenant Gareth Dickson, who has been in Cyprus for a just over three weeks, feels very comfortable in the area.

    Prior to deployment, he tells us, «we had spent two and a half months doing condensed training and this was very intense. Before that, we spent roughly six months learning all the historical aspects of things».

    Lieutenant Dickson said that as part of an agreement between the UN and the Turkish occupation forces, the area of the Beaver Lodge is now actively patrolled by the UN.

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