The United Nations has come under fire for blockading a new humanitarian road which will improve the provisions of fresh water, food and medicine to the Turkish Cypriots in Pile.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) recently launched the Pile – Yiğitler road project, to provide better access to the village of Pile, which is a Turkish Cypriot village. The project was set up to expand the existing dirt road without having to travel via the Sovereign British Areas.
While Greek Cypriots can access Pile freely via Greek Cyprus without any customs control or restrictive measures from the Sovereign British bases, for the past 25 years, Turkish Cypriots have struggled to get key supplies into Pile due to restricted access. The road project was agreed upon as a condition for the opening of the Limnitis border crossing and there should be no reason for why its construction should be prevented now.
The United Nations did nothing in 1996 when the Larnaca – Dikhelia – Ayia Napa road was built within parts of the buffer zone and did not have Turkish Cypriot consent. This happened again in 2004 as the United Nations stood idly by when the Pile – Oroklini road was constructed by Greek Cypriots, which also passed through the buffer zone.
Commenting, Chet Ramadan of Freedom and Fairness for Northern Cyprus said: “It beggars belief that the United Nations are standing in the way of an essential humanitarian project.
“For the past 25 years, Turkish Cypriots in Pile have been treated as second class citizens and this important project was about to change that.
“The UN must end this blockade immediately and allow for the easier passage of basic supplies into the village of Pile without unnecessary border stops.”