Daily World News Digest, 15 December 2017

ICMP – Blood, bone residues and DNA samples to remain in BiH

ICMP has transferred many of its key functions including the laboratory from BIH to the Netherlands but will maintain a regional office in BIH, which will continue to store samples from the region and provide other types of technical assistance as before. The same ICMP Standard Operating Procedures and the highest data protection measures will be applied. All BIH AM and PM samples that have already been processed by ICMP will remain in BIH. http://bit.ly/2j45NVa

 Mass graves in Democratic Republic of Congo

The BBC reports on the horrific violence that began in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s central Kasai region last spring. “Day by day the truth recedes from view. It is concealed by thick grasses. Only a few fragments of bone and shreds of cloth reach from the earth and demand attention.” One eyewitness reports that “The military were burying the bodies. We saw where they stopped and how they dug to bury the corpses… some were as young as 12. They did not only kill the militia. They killed innocent people.” http://bbc.in/2yr2tJ0

 Texas officials work to identify migrant victims as temperatures plummet

The Medical Examiner’s Office in the city of Laredo in southwest Texas is facing an influx of deceased migrants following a massive drop in temperatures. The chief medical examiner, Dr. Corrine Stern says in the last few days her office has received 13 bodies. Stern says during the winter months, her office sees about one to two bodies that succumb to cold temperatures. This year, her office has recovered 11 males and two females who were trying to cross into the US. She says the Examiner’s Office is working to identify the bodies through the missing migrants program. The migrants are believed to have come from Mexico and Central America. http://bit.ly/2BlQWQN

 More than 130 migrants missing in the Mediterranean in November

Between 1 January and 30 November, 117,042 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea, according to UNHCR, a 32 percent decrease compared to the same period last year. In November, at least nine incidents at sea were reported along the central Mediterranean route, resulting in more than 70 deaths and more than 130 persons going missing at sea. Alongside Italian and other European authorities, three NGOs (Proactiva Open Arms, Sea Watch, and SOS Méditerranée) continue to carry out search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean. http://bit.ly/2AFY62J

Philippines: Communists resist arrest over mass grave charges

Communist Party of the Philippines leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon have opposed the government’s bid for their rearrest following the collapse of peace negotiations. The Tiamzon couple and another person, Adelberto Silva, have filed a joint comment before a court in Manila urging the court to deny the government’s plea to take them back into custody. The Tiamzons and Silva are on trial for murder in connection with the discovery of a mass grave in Leyte in the central Philippines, where alleged victims of a communist rebel purge in the 1980s were buried. http://bit.ly/2kvXemC

Scottish soldier’s face revealed after 350 years

The face of a Scottish soldier captured in a battle more than 350 years ago has been revealed after being digitally reconstructed from a skull. He was buried in a mass grave in Durham, with up to 29 others, and was found during building work in 2013. Research on the remains, led by Durham University, established that he was aged between 18 and 25 when he died. It was also determined he had suffered periods of poor nutrition during childhood and had lived in south west Scotland during the 1630s. http://bbc.in/2kt5rYE

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.