Representatives of three Muslim humanitarian associations said they were impressed by the work of International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Mr. Mohammed Hamad, Country Director of Islamic Relief Worldwide; Mr. Mahmoud Y. Ali, Director General of the Red Crescent of U.A.E. in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Mr. Abdel Raouf Al-Shurman, Director of International Islamic Relief from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia toured ICMP facilities in Sarajevo and Tuzla on Thursday.In Sarajevo the three directors toured the ICMP DNA laboratory and in Tuzla they visited the facility where all blood samples taken by ICMP and bone samples received by government authorities are stored and prepared to be sent to ICMP DNA labs. They also visited ICMP facilities where scientists combine DNA techniques and forensic anthropology to re-associate fragmented mortal remains exhumed from secondary mass graves, and where mortal remains of the victims of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica are stored, examined, and identified.
“The work of ICMP is astounding. I could not even imagine how complex the identification process is. ICMP’s work is a noble contribution to peace because it provides comfort to families of the missing, as well as evidence of crimes against humanity that will help in bringing war criminals to justice,” said Mr. Mohammed Hamad, following the tour.
“ICMP’s humanitarian work is highly professional and important – not only for BiH, but for the whole world. ICMP deserves both moral and material support and we will do all we can to help,” said Mr. Mahmoud Y. Ali.
The issue of persons missing from armed conflicts, abuses of human rights and other crimes against humanity is a global concern. ICMP endeavors to secure the co-operation of Governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing and to assist them in doing so. Approximately 30,000 individuals are said to have gone missing as a consequence of conflicts in BiH. Since November 2001, ICMP has assisted in identifying over 11,000 missing individuals in the region.
ICMP is engaged in a wide-ranging area of operations that include the former conflict zones in the Western Balkans, the Middle East, as well as on an ad hoc basis in areas affected by natural disasters, such as the regions of South Asia and the US state of Louisiana.