United Nations Forces In CYPrus was established in March 1964. It was the eighth UN peacekeeping operation to be founded, and is currently the fourth-oldest UN peacekeeping operation in the world.
It is UNFICYP's task in Cyprus is to maintain peace and stability in the Buffer Zone, and to ensure that there is no alteration of the status quo along the two ceasefire lines drawn on 16 August 1974. The Buffer Zone, or Green Line is 180 kilometres long and covers around three per cent of the island's surface area. It varies in width from less than four metres in Nicosia to some seven kilometres near Athienou.
As at May 2005 868 military personnel from 12 different countries currently work alongside 50 police officers and 150 locally and internationally-recruited civilians. The British Contingent (BRITCON) are deployed under Operation Tosca.