Human remains found at a military zone in Turkish occupied Ayios Ilarionas, CMP member tells CNA

Human remains were found on Thursday at a military zone in Ayios Ilarionas, in the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, during excavations conducted by crews working for the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus, CMP Greek Cypriot member Nestoras Nestoros confirmed in statements to CNA.

Nestoros noted that the remains were found north of a furnace in which bones were also discovered in the recent past, adding that excavation was still in its early stages.

He said that there were currently searches underway in Famagusta, Karavas, Ayios Dhometios, Ayia Irini, Vonni, Galatia lake, Ayios Ilarionas, Neo Horio Kythreas, Athalassa, and Konia.

Earlier on Thursday, the CMP announced that a visit at the UN HQ in New York and a study of the UN archives had yielded some results.

A CMP press release said that from 24 April to 5 May, two Cypriot researchers and the 3rd Member of the CMP searched confidential and publicly accessible United Nations archives from the 1963/4 and 1974 periods for information that could aid the discovery of possible burial sites of missing persons.

Their effort yielded documents that will now be analysed by CMP investigators, it said, adding that a further visit will be required to complete the review of relevant archive holdings in New York.

On 8 and 9 May, the CMP said, the three Members of the CMP visited United Nations Headquarters in New York. Amongst other senior officials, they met with Jeffrey Feltman, Under Secretay-General for Political Affairs and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations who assured the Members of the United Nations continued support for the CMP. Members presented the CMPs 2017 to 2020 strategy which aims to speed up the project by investing in new technologies and tapping into new sources of information.

Nestroros told CNA that problems which CMP faces and which are outlined in its 2017-2020 strategy plan can be solved at the political level, stressing the UNs role to this end. These matters require political handling in order to be resolved, Nestoros said, adding that the UN appear to respond and steps are being made.

Furthermore he noted that we asked the UN to help us locate satellite photos or aerial photos from specific areas were there could be burial sites.

Nestoros said that their aim is to make the best possible use of new technologies, recalling that his office has signed a protocol with the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT).

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown. A Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) was established, upon agreement between the leaders of the island’s two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.

Source: Cyprus News Agency