“The task that remains to be done regarding the investigation of missing persons is enormous,” said Leonidas Pantelides, who spoke to CNA after his reappointment as Representative of the Greek Cypriot community on the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP).

Responding to a question about the committee’s work, he said, “the task is enormous, as we still have about 900 people” who are still missing.

He stated that there are points of interest and that the CMP has “information” and for this reason there may be need for additional excavation teams.

Today, he said, he was going to Paphos with a group of people, including Turkish Cypriots, who are witnesses, to investigate a case for which they have information in the mountain villages of Paphos.

“There is a lot of work to be done, many cases to be solved, time is pressing us, and valuable time has been lost in the past,” he said.

He explained that they face problems because “our witnesses are passing or their memory is fading, the environment is changing day by day.”

However, he added that even now, with a great delay, a huge effort is underway.

According to data until March 31, 2023 in the CMP website, 772 Greek Cypriots and 200 Turkish Cypriots are still missing, while 738 Greek Cypriots and 292 Turkish Cypriots have been identified.

“What is important is that we continue the effort. We certainly have difficulties. In every case, there are a lot of difficulties and problems, but in the end, we overcome them and excavate, and for me, that’s what counts,” he concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.A Committee on Missing Persons has been 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.

Leave a Reply