Cyprus mission for UN peacekeeper

editorial image

An Ilkeston soldier will deploy to Cyprus this month for a six-month tour of duty as a UN peacekeeper.

Private Andrew Booth, 27, a former student at Ilkeston School, is a member of the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment which will be heading to Cyprus to patrol the “Green Line”, the buffer zone dividing the Turkish-held north and the Greek south.

The peacekeeping mission is one of the longest running UN missions.

The British contribution to the United Nations Forces in Cyprus is known as Op TOSCA.

Andrew is one of 275 soldiers who are deploying including 62 soldiers from the Regiment’s reserve unit the 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

The soldiers will patrol by vehicle, foot or by mountain bike depending on the nature and type of patrol.

Andrew will leave behind his wife Tiffany and three-year-old son Leo-Beau Booth.

He said: “I’m looking forward to going on tour and patrolling on bike because I’m a keen cyclist.

“I’ve done two tours of 
Afghanistan so this will be totally different. It’s an opportunity to do something different.”

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Gilby, commanding officer of 2 MERCIAN, said: “There is not likely to be any combat but the troops will be out in a sensitive areas so they will face situations where they need to use diplomacy and negotiation.”