Greek Cypriot side submits questions to CMP on relocation of remains from Ornithi mass grave

Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) Greek Cypriot member Nestoras Nestoros has submitted a number of questions, during a meeting of the Committee that took place on Thursday, with regard to the information conveyed by the CMPs Turkish Cypriot member Gulden Plumer Kucuk concerning the relocation of remains of people listed as missing from a mass grave in a location known as Ornithi, to the landfill in Dikomo, a village between Nicosia and Kyrenia.

Replying to a question, Nestoros told CNA that he submitted the questions in writing, on the basis of the document which Kucuk submitted on November 16. He said that a team comprising four members of his office has already been set up to look into this case and collect information that will help the difficult research effort.

“We have to find all necessary information about the state of the specific site during the previous periods of time and about the way the site has been altered, taking into consideration the projects planning. Therefore a lot ot material has to be collected,” he noted, recalling that the site was used in the past for the disposal of waste.

He also said that according to reports published in the Turkish Cypriot press, in 2007, toxic waste was also dumpled there, stressing that this is a very difficult case to handle.

“We will make our utmost to address the technical aspect of this issue. From there on competent authorities have to handle the issue at the political level,” he noted, adding that both aspects are interdependent.

Nestoros also noted that the CMP research will focus during this period to locating mass graves of missing persons in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-backed negotiations, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively in July 2017.

A Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) was established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.

According to data posted on the CMP website, the remains of 637 Greek Cypriot missing persons and 210 Turkish Cypriot missing persons were identified and returned to their families until November, 30, 2017. A total of 873 Greek Cypriots and 282 Turkish Cypriots are still missing.

Source: Cyprus News Agency