UNFICYP peacekeepers recognized for their service in Cyprus
In September and October, UNFICYP underwent its bi-annual rotation, during which the Force’s troop contributing countries rotate their contingents on the island. Major General Cheryl attended the ceremonies and expressed gratitude for their contributions and commitment to serving for peace.
“I want to thank you for your service to the cause of peace in Cyprus and for successfully completing your tour of duty even in these difficult times”, Major Pearce stated. She also wished the new Sector Commanders and their troops success as they will continue to support the implementation of UNFICYP's mandate.
On 4 September, Argentina-led Sector 1 were the first ones to hold the transfer of authority ceremony at San Martin Camp, where Lieutenant Colonel Walter Luis Daniel Vitola was formally replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Matias Jorge Monez Ruiz.
Lieutenant Colonel James Gayner, who led British peacekeepers for the duration of their tour, handed over the command of the British-led Sector 2 to the new Sector Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andy Pearce, during a ceremony at Ledra Palace Hotel on 8 October.
Lastly, on 15 October, Lieutenant Colonel Rudolf Rusnak officially handed over command of the Slovak-led Sector 4 to Lieutenant Colonel Ján Hric, at a ceremony at the Sector’s headquarters, Camp General Stefanik.
This year, the rotation included a 14-day quarantine for all newly arrived peacekeepers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as part of the Mission’s efforts to maintain the COVID-free status of all uniformed personnel in accordance with controls and direction laid down by the Secretary General and the Cypriot authorities.