The 1000th Srebrenica Victim Identified by ICMP

ICMP announced today, the 8th Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre that, the 1,000th Srebrenica missing person has been identified. An additional 676 cases have found a DNA match with the family blood samples and are currently waiting to be confirmed and certified as closed cases. The number of both DNA matches and closed cases is increasing daily as a result of additional DNA profiles being obtained from both recovered bodies as well as family blood samples.Gordon Bacon, Chief of Staff of ICMP, welcomed this achievement: ” This is an important milestone for ICMP in helping families who lost their loved ones during the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995 but there is still a long way to go. Everyone involved in the process must continue the work of finding remains and giving back names to the thousands of persons still missing. All of us at ICMP are dedicated to…

Expertise from Former Yugoslavia Could Help Iraq

The experience gained in finding and identifying the thousands of missing in former Yugoslavia could be valuable in assisting the authorities in Iraq address the issue of missing persons there. James Kimsey, Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and a delegation of senior ICMP staff, have just returned from an assessment visit to Iraq and are ready to make recommendations to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which is the government authority currently responsible for administering Iraq.The objective of the visit of the ICMP delegation was to assess whether ICMP’s experience gained working on the missing persons issue in the former Yugoslavia could be valuable in addressing the issue in Iraq, where there are an estimated 300,000 persons missing as a consequence of decades of enforced disappearance and other human rights abuses perpetrated by Saddam Hussein’s regime.

During their visit to Iraq, Mr. Kimsey and the ICMP staff…

ICMP announces 3,000 DNA Reports for Bosnia and Herzegovina

The International Commission on Missing Persons announced today, June 27rd, that it had achieved its 3,000th DNA report related to cases of missing persons in Bosnia and Hercegovina. This is a result of a dramatic increase in the rate of generating DNA reports, which produced the first successful match in November 2001. It required 11 months to produce the first 1,000 DNA reports, but as the ICMP system began to test large numbers of blood and bone samples the rate of DNA reporting has increased.It is important to realize that a DNA report is not in itself an identification, though it is an important milestone on the way. There are two basic types of DNA reports:

DNA Match Report: This is issued whenever a link is found and confirmed between the DNA profile from a bone sample and from the Family Reference Database. This Database contains the DNA profiles of…

James Kimsey and HM Queen Noor Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr James Kimsey, Chairman of ICMP, accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, who is an ICMP commissioner, are visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina to see the work of the ICMP in action and to discuss future strategy.On Wednesday June 11 they met with the members of the BiH Joint Presidency, following a meeting with Mr Adnan Terzic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Mr Mirsad Kebo, Minister for Human Rights and Refugees. The theme of these meetings was the implementation of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) which will carry on the work addressing the missing persons’ issue in BiH for the long term. Mr Kimsey thanked the members of the BiH Presidency for their support for the MPI, and asked them for a commitment that they will continue this support through the creation of a protocol for MPI so that it is adopted by Parliament and ready…

Conclusions of Associations of Families of Missing Persons for Former Yugoslavia

The Seventh Regional Conference on Missing Persons Issues for associations of families of missing persons was held in Sarajevo from 16 May 2003 to 19 May 2003 at the Hotel Saraj, Sarajevo, organised by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

This conference was attended by more than 75 family association representatives, members of Government Commissions on Missing Persons from the former Yugoslavia, and other institutions concerned with the missing persons issue.

For the first time, family associations and government representatives from Macedonia participated in the regional conference. Despite being the first time that opposing sides to the conflict in Macedonia had met, they agreed on joint activities in the future and recognised that they could learn from families who already had such experience of cooperation.

Associations discussed common issues regardless of religious or national background, and concluded that they will be stronger if they work together on lobbying responsible government authorities,…

Repatriation of the first group of identified Kosovo Albanians found in Serbia

Today, 8 May 2003, the first group of 37 remains of killed Kosovo Albanians was handed over from the Coordination Centre for Kosovo and Metohija based in Belgrade to the representatives of UNMIK in Kosovo. The handover of bodies took place at the border crossing in Merdare at noon. The mortal remains were recovered from sites in Batajnica, near Belgrade, where the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) estimates a total of 700 mortal remains were recovered during 2001 and 2002.Since the first mass graves of Kosovo Albanians were uncovered near Belgrade in the summer of 2001, ICMP has endeavored to make certain that these mortal remains were exhumed and identified as fast as could be done in a scientifically accurate manner.

With permission from the Serbian government and the appropriate local courts, ICMP has monitored the exhumations process in Serbia since 2001. ICMP anthropologists, archeologists and recovery monitors were…

US Families Respond to ICMP Visit

163 people from Bosnia and Hercegovina now living in Chicago and St Louis gave blood samples last week, hoping to find their missing loved ones.The International Commission on Missing Persons’ mission to Chicago, which was primarily to attend the convention of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences was a great success. The 17 presentations made by its scientists and managers has put the ICMP firmly among world leaders in both traditional forensic techniques and DNA analysis. According to Ed Huffine, Director of the DNA programme:

” We were asked if we would share the DNA testing procedures that we have developed and we will. The international forensic community is now aware of ICMP’s staff, accomplishments and standards.”

But the trip achieved much more. Bosnian and Hercegovinan communities took advantage of the ICMP presence to ask if their members could donate blood samples to be added to the DNA database. Every evening…

Chicago’s Balkan Population Invited to Take Part in Missing Persons Program

Staff members of the International Commission on Missing Persons for the former Yugoslavia (ICMP) will be in Chicago for a week from Saturday 15th February, to take part in the annual Convention of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). The ICMP team members will be presenting 18 papers at the Convention, considerably more than any one organisation has ever presented in the past – 7 being the previous best.Chicago is now home to around 50,000 people whose families originated in the former Yugoslavia, many of whom have loved ones missing after the recent Balkan conflicts. ICMP will give these families the opportunity to take part in their advanced DNA analysis program, which is now identifying up to 250 people per month. This program matches DNA samples taken from recovered mortal remains with those from blood samples donated by family members of the missing. To date, over 1600 people…