CYPRUS: Turkish soldiers threaten to kill farmer in the dead zone

Cyprus Turkish

New tension broke out at noon in Denia in the area of ​​the dead zone, between farmers and Turkish occupation troops.

As the mayor of Denia, Christakis Panagiotou, stated on Cypriot media, that armed occupation soldiers, with outstretched weapons, approached and threatened to kill a farmer who was in the area.

In the previous days, Turkish settlers had entered the dead zone with their sheep and had destroyed the Cypriot farmers’ plantations.

Panagiotou said that the incident was monitored by the Cypriot National Guard from an outpost, which is located between Denia and Akaki, while at the same time the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations were informed about the incident.

Elsewhere in Cyprus, the repatriations of migrants who have had their asylum applications rejected is essential to easing overcrowding and reducing violence at a migrant reception camp, interior minister Nicos Nouris said on Wednesday.

Nouris told state broadcaster CyBC that 35 migrants suffered minor wounds during an altercation between rival groups of underage migrants at the Pournara camp on the outskirts of the capital, Nicosia.

The minister said Nigerian and Congolese youths housed at the camp attacked each other over a “totally insignificant reason” that began at the facility’s basketball court.

He said riot police had to be called in to restore order.

That incident was preceded the previous evening by more violence during which Nouris said one youth threatened a police officer with a knife.

Cyprus authorities say rising migrant arrivals are pushing the small island’s capacity to host them to its limits.

Some 13,235 new asylum applications were filed last year, with most being rejected.

Authorities in Cyprus say a lack of clear European Union migration policies is impeding deportations.

Nouris said 85% of the asylum-seekers entered the Republic of Cyprus from the Turkish occupied north.

A porous U.N.-controlled buffer zone divides the Republic from the occupation zone.

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