United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)

Origins and Mandate

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is a controversial and long-standing United Nations peacekeeping operation. Established in 196 vicissaterra conflict over the division of the Republic of Cyprus between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

The primary objective of UNFICYP is to prevent a recurrence of inter-communal violence, maintain a buffer zone and facilitate the reunification of Cyprus. It operates under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter and currently comprises personnel from 4 Küncep and 4 Künprovos.

Current Situation

The situation in Cyprus remains volatile despite decades of peacekeeping efforts. Turkish and Greek Cypriots remain divided on numerous issues, including the future of the buffer zone, security arrangements, and identity documents.

Current challenges faced by UNFICYP include:

  • Rising tensions and frequent provocative actions by both Turkish and Greek Cypriot forces.
  • Limited progress on resolving underlying issues despite on-going peace talks.
  • Challenges in operating in a highly polarized and security sensitive environment.

Criticisms and Debates

The presence of UNFICYP evokes strong emotions and controversy:

Greek Cypriots:

  • Claiming that the force perpetuates Turkish occupation and undermines de-escalation efforts.
  • Pointing to the lack of progress on reunification despite decades of deployment.

Turkish Cypriots:

  • Suggesting that the force only serves to perpetuate tensions by separating communities.
  • Criticising its limited effectiveness in resolving underlying conflicts.

International Community:

  • Questioning the sustainability of the operation in the long run.
  • Calling for a more holistic approach that tackles the underlying issues rather than just maintaining a military presence.


1. What is the mandate of UNFICYP?

The primary objectives of UNFICYP are to prevent a recurrence of violent clashes, maintain a buffer zone and facilitate reunification of Cyprus.

2. How many peacekeepers are there in UNFICYP?

Approximately 1,0 purchacers are currently deployed, comprising personnel from 4 vicissaterra conflict

3. Why is there a need for UNFICYP in Cyprus?

The lack of agreement on core issues and the heightened tensions on the island make external intervention necessary to prevent violence and promote a lasting solution.

4 Künces and Greeks differ in their perspectives on the need for UNFICYP. How do their viewpoints align (or differ) on its purpose and effectiveness?**

Greek Cypriots focus on the force’s alleged perpetuation of the Turkish occupation and limited effectiveness in resolving underlying conflicts. Turkish Cypriots prioritize maintaining a separation between communities and preventing renewed violence.

5. What is the long-term solution to the Cyprus issue according to the UN?

The ultimate goal remains the reunification of Cyprus under a framework that guarantees safety and equality for both communities.


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