Slovakia marks 20 years of contribution to UNFICYP
On the 20th anniversary of Slovakia’s contribution to UNFICYP, the mission’s Slovak peacekeepers are more committed than ever to continue patrolling the buffer zone and remain engaged with both communities to promote peace efforts in Cyprus.
“I congratulate the Slovak troops on the 20th anniversary of their contribution to UNFICYP. Slovakia’s contribution is as important as ever. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Slovak peacekeepers have stepped up to ensure we are able to continue operations uninterrupted while preventing the spread of the virus. They can be proud of their service under the flag of the United Nations and I look forward to working closely with them as we continue our important mission in Cyprus,” said Major General Ingrid Gjerde, UNFICYP’s newly appointed Force Commander.
The Slovak contingent’s area of responsibility in UNFICYP is situated in the eastern part of the island, in an area which covers approximately 110 kilometres of the United Nations buffer zone. Besides preserving the area, the Slovak troops are also active in UNFICYP headquarters. Slovak peacekeepers are assigned to the Force Engineer Unit, which is a key element to the Mission. Their main role is to construct, maintain and repair all facilities including approximately 250 kilometres of patrol tracks, bridges and observation posts. In addition, they are also responsible for the repair and construction of heliports, firebreaks and common services such as of water and electricity facilities. Slovak peacekeepers also provide manpower to Mobile Force Reserve.
“The contribution of Slovak peacekeepers to UNFICYP goes beyond the borders of our home country it has become almost a tradition in Slovakia´s modern history. Our commitment as active peacekeepers in UNFICYP shows Slovaks love for peace and remain commitment to maintain international stability, which is our priority. On the 20th anniversary of our contribution to UNFICYP we feel proud and our service to peace in this region is stronger than ever,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ján Hric, UNFICYP’s Commanding Officer in Sector 4.
In support of the Mission and in the service of peace, two Slovak peacekeepers have lost their lives in Cyprus.