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The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was established in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. After the 1974 Greek coup-d'etat and Turkish invasion, the UN Security Council extended and expanded the mission to prevent that situation from flaring up into war again.

In 1995, UNFICYP found that Turkish Cypriots living in the southern part of the island were not subject to a restrictive regime and under the law enjoyed the same rights as other citizens. At the same time, in several respects, it was found that Turkish Cypriots were often the victims of capricious discrimination and harassment and thus did not enjoy a fully normal life. With regard to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern part of the island, the review confirmed that those communities were the objects of very severe restrictions imposed by the Turkish Cypriot authorities, which curtailed the exercise of many basic freedoms and had the effect of ensuring that, inexorably with the passage of time, those communities would cease to exist in the northern part of the island.

As of May 4, 2004, the total strength (military personnel and civilian police) of UNFICYP was 1,247. The 1,201 military personnel were from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. There were 46 civilian police provided by Australia, India, Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. In addition, UNFICYP had 150 civilian staff, 43 of whom were internationally recruited and 107 locally recruited.

Over the period UNFICYP has suffered 167 fatalities from its military personnel.

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