Ambassador Rycroft Visits ICMP Facilities and Announces Further Funding

Following the Srebrenica anniversary, the British Ambassador in BiH, Matthew Rycroft, visited forensic facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today. Accompanied by the ICMP Chief of Staff, Kathryne Bomberger, Ambassador Rycroft toured the ICMP Podrinje Identification Project and Identification Coordination Division in Tuzla, and the ICMP Re-association Center in Lukavac. The Ambassador announced that the British Government will donate more than 1.1 million BAM this year as part of their continual commitment to ICMP.
“Today, I witnessed first hand the incredible technological strides that have been made to identify the missing,” said Ambassador Rycroft. “Through the use of DNA, ICMP has provided accurate identifications. These provide irrefutable evidence of a person's identity, and so give individual family members a sense of closure. This accuracy also provides political neutrality, which is important in a politically charged environment where precise numbers of missing persons are still disputed.”
Praising the BiH Government for its ground-breaking work in passing a Law on Missing Persons, Ambassador Rycroft urged the Government to ensure the law was fully implemented, living up to its legal obligations to seek the truth and enabling family members to benefit from the law's provisions. He also commended the BiH authorities for demonstrating the political will to establish a Missing Persons Institute at the state level, but noted that the protocol that will officially launch the State level Institute still awaits formal approval by the Council of Ministers.
ICMP created the Missing Persons Institute in August 2000 and has since worked with the BiH authorities and all stakeholders to ensure the Institute can be formally established at the State level.
“ICMP has provided Bosnia and Herzegovina and other states in the former Yugoslavia with revolutionary technological tools to assist them in meeting their legal and moral obligations to their citizens”, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Chief of Staff. “We are also working with Governments to ensure they responsibly address the issue of missing persons, regardless of ethnic, religious or national origin.”
Some 30,000 persons went missing during the conflicts in BiH and between 15,000 and 20,000 persons are still unaccounted for.