South Cyprus to hire 300 police officers to patrol the border with north Cyprus in a bid to stop irregular migration

Greek Cypriot authorities are making plans on hiring 300 contract police officers to patrol the Green Line between the north and south in a bid to tackle irregular migration to the south.

Cyprus Minister of Interior Minister Nicos Nouris in a statement on Wednesday, said the interior and justice ministries are requesting that 300 contract police officers be hired for up to 28 months as the country steps up its efforts to tackle irregular migration across the Green Line.

Expressing his frustration at the situation, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris told MPs that irregular migrants are now calling the police and requesting that officers come to pick them up.

The bill presented to House legal committee on Wednesday requests that the police chief be able to hire 300 contract officers under expediated procedures for a period of 18 months, with provisions for an extension of a further ten months.

The stated aims are to secure the 24-hour surveillance of the Green Line, checking and escorting irregular migrants and securing holding centres.

It is not immediately clear whether the officers would be able to prevent the crossings from taking place due to south Cyprus’s obligations under UN treaties securing the right to seek asylum.

Nouris said that the matter is critical and that the luxury of time is no longer afforded – adding that 92 per cent of irregular arrivals take place across the Green Line.

Cyprus has consistently blamed Turkey for allowing migration to the country by allowing thousands to fly into the nation and permitting their arrival to north Cyprus via Ercan airport on student visas – only to later cross over the Green Line.

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