Multi-communal security force for united Cyprus

Efthymiou, Stratis-Andreas (2017) Multi-communal security force for united Cyprus. Security Dialogue Project, Background Paper. pp. 1-25.

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Abstract / Description

The purpose of this article is to present the concept of the ‘Multi-Communal Security Force’ and key considerations for future policy design on the issue in Cyprus. The complex political situation is constitutive of heavy military presence of six armies: the Greek Cypriot National Guard, the Hellenic Force of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot Security Forces Command, the Turkish Armed Forces in Northern Cyprus, the British Forces of Cyprus, and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. Changes made to this ‘defence-setting’ will result out of significant peace developments at the political level. Such changes will inevitably touch deeply the sense of ontological security of the two Cypriot communities. The concept of Multi-Communal Security Force (MCSF) is developed out of (1) comparative analysis with other post-conflict societies – South Africa and Lebanon – who successfully shared military power by integrating former antagonist groups. I also built on reflections from previous (2) empirical research on militarism, masculinity and nationalism in Cyprus, (3) policy work for the Cyprus Ministry of Defense, and (4) for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, as well as from (5) evaluation and assessment of the defence institutions of Cyprus with Transparency International. Today, the plans for whether united Cyprus will have an army or not – and what form that army will take – remain unclear. Therefore, this article provides early-stage policy indications for the MultiCommunal Security Force. If following the peace negotiations it is decided that an army will be established, it will be significant to inform policy-makers through well-researched policy recommendations of the practical as well as cultural arrangements that would position the army as an exemplary model of peace and effective co-existence. In doing so, I propose for the current armies of the two Cypriot communities to be integrated into a force that cares about security for all.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This publication was produced in the framework of the Security Dialogue Project, a jointly implemented project by the Centre for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development (SeeD), Interpeace and Berghof Foundation. The project aims at supporting the Cyprus Peace Process by contributing to the identification of informed, creative and viable security options that could enable all communities in Cyprus to simultaneously feel secure and, ultimately, at supporting the recent developments of top political leadership initiatives on both sides to move beyond entrenched positions. Drawing upon examples from similar and/or applicable scenarios and lessons learned, and by developing an understanding of possible approaches to the respective issues in transitional Cyprus, this paper aims at supporting the project’s goal. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Berghof Foundation and SeeD or their project partners. For further information please contact the programme director Luxshi Vimalarajah, at
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 350 Public administration & military science
300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Stratis Efthymiou
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 09:07
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 09:07


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