Daily World News Digest, 1 June 2015

Srebrenica Genocide ‘Part of Bosnian Identity’

BalkanInsight reported on 29 May on a conference on the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre, entitled “School of Knowledge: Srebrenica – Mapping Genocide and Post-Genocide Society”, which was held in Sarajevo on 28 May.  Suada Kapic, one of the founders of the FAMA Methodology association, which organized the conference, said that facing up to Srebrenica and past atrocities in the former Yugoslavia was a precondition for a better everyday life. “Through this event and through generating documents about the wars in the Yugoslav region, we want to show that the methodology of gathering facts is the only counter-poison to political manipulation of history, which is a dominant theme in the region,” she said. The School of Knowledge, she explained, seeks to transform education about genocide and war in order to develop a universal educational model, which would be used to share knowledge. This methodology, which detects early warning signs, can strengthen individuals and so prevent future atrocities, she added. The “Srebrenica – Mapping Genocide” project was unveiled four years ago and shows detailed maps of the events before, during, and after the fall of the town to Bosnian Serb forces on July 11. These maps can be watched individually and the users will have access to all available documents, profiles, reports and video, all available on the website www.srebrenica-mappinggenocide.com. http://bit.ly/1SJKjrW

Operations intensify to rescue ‘biggest wave’ of Mediterranean migrants

Euronews reported on 31 May that thousands of migrants rescued from the Mediterranean are continuing to arrive in Italian ports, including more than 450 who have been taken to Augusta in Sicily on board the Fenice, an Italian navy warship. Most are reportedly from Eritrea, where alleged human rights abuses have sparked a refugee exodus. Also on board were the bodies of 17 migrants recovered from one of the boats off the Libyan coast. Italian media reports say they may have been trampled to death in the rush for places on the overcrowded vessels. European authorities say that more than 5,000 migrants had been saved from boats in distress since Friday, and operations are underway to rescue hundreds more. “This is the biggest wave of migrants we have seen in 2015,” Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said in a written statement. “The new vessels that joined Operation Triton this week have already saved hundreds of people.” http://bit.ly/1eLiQXi

213 migrants rescued in Greece during the night

The Greek Reporter news portal reported on 31 May that the Greek coast guard rescued 213 migrants in six different incidents near the islands of Kos, Chios and Lesvos on the night of 30 May. All the migrants are safe and well, and no missing persons have been reported. http://bit.ly/1REYOMq

Relatives of missing: Turkish army must open its archives

Also on 31 May the Greek Reporter reported a call by relatives of missing persons in Cyprus for Turkish military officials to provide all the information they hold regarding the fate of missing persons on the island. Executive Secretary of the Pancyprian Organization of the Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons Nicos Theodosiou said that if the Turkish army provides the Committee on Missing Persons with the information it holds, then there will be major progress in a short time. He stressed the importance of this for families of the missing, who have waited 41 years for information about their loved ones. http://bit.ly/1HGviyw

Mexico: Search for missing persons in Chilapa continues

Prensa Latina reported on 31 May that the Mexican authorities are still searching for dozens of missing people in Chilapa Municipality, in the state of Guerrero. Federal government officials have said that progress has been made in the search for 22 people who were reported missing in that municipality this year and previously. During a meeting between government officials and relatives of the missing, around 500 indigenous people from at least 55 Nahua communities arrived in Chilapa to demand that another 30 missing persons be accounted for. Roberto Campa, Human Rights undersecretary at the Interior Secretariat, noted that during the meeting, the relatives denied being members of any of the criminal groups in dispute for control of the region. http://bit.ly/1RF1TvK

UN rights chief urges inquiry into violations by international forces in Central Africa

The IndiaBlooms news portal reports today that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has urged several states to intensify their efforts to investigate long-standing allegations that soldiers in their forces deployed as peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) may have committed serious violations, including murder and sexual exploitation. Instances of excessive use of force, enforced disappearance, sexual exploitation and violence were investigated by UN human rights officers on the ground, and subsequently by the International Commission of Inquiry on the CAR, which reported on a range of violations by international forces in December 2014. “These allegations were extremely disturbing,” Zeid said in a statement released by his Office (OHCHR). “People in CAR were desperate for protection. The role of international forces in halting the worst of the fighting and sectarian slaughter in CAR has been invaluable, and their presence has unquestionably saved many, many lives. Yet, in some cases the longed-for protectors turned into predators.” The forces involved in these incidents were not operating under the United Nations flag, according to the OHCHR. http://bit.ly/1M3wCQc

New search for Minnesota woman who disappeared 25 years ago

The Post-Bulletin newspaper from Minnesota in the United States reported on 31 May that local police undertook a large-scale search at the weekend for the body of a woman who disappeared 25 years ago. Police believe that cadaver dogs, ground-penetrating radar and kayak searches might yield clues to the disappearance. Many of the tools were provided by North Carolina-based Community United Effort of the Center for Missing Persons, a nonprofit organization that provides trained professionals for search and recovery efforts, assisted by a group of 60 volunteers. http://bit.ly/1LWLaR4

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.