Cyprus Government said on Monday that 27 irregular migrants remain in the buffer zone in Nicosia district and are assisted by the UNFICYP. Government Spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis said in a written statement that the Republic of Cyprus is in cooperation with UNFICYP to address their humanitarian needs.

He reminded that similar incidents took place in the past and that the Republic of Cyprus will continue its effective surveillance along the buffer zone, in accordance with the Green Line Regulation.

UNFICYP Spokesperson Aleem Siddique told the CNA last Friday that the migrants were mostly women and children and are receiving food, water, shelter and medical assistance.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

The buffer zone, also called ‘the Green Line’, extends approximately 180 km across the island. UNFICYP keeps permanent watch over the buffer zone with patrols.

The whole of Cyprus is part of the European Union. However, in the northern part of the island, where the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, EU legislation is suspended in line with Protocol 10 to the 2003 Act of Accession.

The EU Council Regulation 866/2004 referred to as the “Green Line Regulation” sets out the terms under which persons and goods can cross this line from the non-government-controlled areas into the government-controlled areas.

The non-government-controlled areas are outside the EU’s customs and fiscal territory, but this does not affect the personal rights of Turkish Cypriots as EU citizens.

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