Victims Request State Strategy for Prosecuting War Crimes

Associations of victims from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina and representatives of state judicial bodies are united in their call for the development of a strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina in prosecuting war crimes. This is just one of the conclusions of a two-day gathering organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Round-table discussions under the title: „Pursuing justice and human rights in BiH: Mechanisms and problems” were held with 60 representatives of associations of families of missing persons and guest speakers from various judicial institutions.

Enforcement of the Law on Missing Persons in BiH

The Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, in cooperation with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is organizing a series of meetings with associations of families of the missing persons from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main issue to be discussed is the Law on Missing Persons.

The Netherlands Continues Support for Identification of War Victims in BiH

The Royal Netherlands Embassy made the first installment last week of a two million Euro contribution to the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) for the year 2006. The Netherlands Embassy has also committed to continued funding for the identification of victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia over the next three years.As in previous years, the Netherlands Embassy has requested that the funding be used to assist in the identification of victims of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in particular of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica.

US Congresswoman Visits ICMP

During a brief trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of California visited an International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) mortuary and examination facility in Tuzla, eastern Bosnia on Sunday, 19 March. The ICMP facility houses thousands of body bags containing the remains of victims of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica.Dr. Rifat Kesetovic, Chief Forensic Pathologist at the facility, which is called the Podrinje Identification Project, explained to Congresswoman Sanchez that many of the body bags in the morgue contain only parts of individuals, or parts of several different individuals. The problem of separation and mixing of body parts occurred because several months after the Srebrenica victims were buried in mass graves, the perpetrators dug up the remains and reburied them in smaller mass graves in an attempt to hide the evidence. Heavy machinery was used and the bodies broke apart and became commingled during the process. This makes the…

ICMP Names New Director of Forensic Sciences

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has hired Thomas J. Parsons, formerly Chief Scientist at the U.S. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, as Director of its Forensic Sciences Department. Dr. Parsons took up his post at ICMP's Sarajevo headquarters on March 1, 2006. He replaces Dr. Mark Skinner, who has returned to his post as professor at the Archaeology Department of Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Missing Persons Institute Directors Officially Appointed

The first Directors of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) of Bosnia-Herzegovina officially took up their posts today, marking a major step forward in the search for persons missing from the country's 1992-95 conflict.The MPI is a State-level organization co-founded by the BiH Council of Ministers and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), which is taking over the responsibilities of the entity-level missing persons organizations – the Office of the Republika Srpska on Tracing Detained and Missing Persons and the Federation Commission on Tracing Missing Persons. There are three Directors of the MPI: Marko Jurisic and Amor Masovic, Chairmen of the Federation commission, and Milan Bogdanic, Director of the RS office on missing persons. Marko Jurisic took over today as the first MPI Chairman, a position that will rotate every eight months between the current three MPI Directors.

Canada Joins ICMP Donors

The Government of Canada today joins the donor nations of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), making a contribution of 350,000 Canadian Dollars from Canada's Global Peace and Security Fund for ICMP's identification of missing individuals from the conflicts in the regions of the former Yugoslavia.Today, in recognition of Canada's contribution, Canadian Ambassador Shelley Whiting toured the ICMP facilities in Tuzla. Given the regional focus of ICMP activities, and the relevance of their work in the neighboring countries of Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro, she was joined by her colleagues, Mr. Yvan Jobin, Deputy Head of Mission at the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade, and Mr. Sven Jurschewsky, Deputy Head of Mission at the Canadian Embassy in Zagreb.

In Tuzla, Ambassador Whiting stated, “Canada is pleased to support financially the work of the ICMP, which facilitates their ongoing efforts to identify victims of the conflicts in the region, and provides closure to…

DNA Matches for Missing from Conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has achieved the first results from a campaign in the United States to help identify missing victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The first 33 DNA matches between bone samples of missing individuals found in grave sites in the former Yugoslavia and blood samples taken from relatives of the missing who are now living in North America have been made by ICMP in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

2005 Successful Year for ICMP

The recent request by the State of Louisiana for the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to assist in the identification of Hurricane Katrina victims is the latest of many major developments for the organization in 2005. ICMP is now analyzing bone samples sent from the United States to obtain DNA profiles that will help to identify missing hurricane victims.This humanitarian assistance follows ICMP's participation in the identification of victims of last year's Indian Ocean tsunami. In May, ICMP was asked by the Government of Thailand to analyze bone samples of victims and to match the bone DNA profiles with profiles of family members of the missing. So far, ICMP has obtained DNA profiles for 1,634 of the 1,779 bone samples sent from Thailand and has found 691 DNA matches between victims of the tsunami and their family members.

Yet despite these developments in the area of humanitarian identification of…

ICMP Helping to Identify Katrina Victims

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is assisting in efforts to identify victims of Hurricane Katrina, analyzing bone samples in order to obtain DNA profiles for identification of the bodies.Under an agreement between ICMP and the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, ICMP will test an estimated 260 to 350 bone samples to assist in identification of victims of the August hurricane, which swept across the south eastern United States, severely damaging the New Orleans area and leaving some 1,400 persons confirmed dead.

The DNA analysis is being carried out at the ICMP DNA laboratories in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ICMP was originally established in 1996 to assist in the identification of persons missing as a result of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. It is now also working with the authorities in Iraq on finding ways to address the missing persons issue there and, as a humanitarian…