Daily World News Digest, 15 January 2016

The search for Vietnam’s war dead: Largest ever DNA identification project is underway

The Daily Mail carried a story on 14 January saying that over 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, the remains of unnamed civilians and fighters are still being unearthed. Now efforts have begun to identify the bones of half a million Vietnamese who went missing during the conflict between 1955 and 1975. The Vietnamese government has promised to invest $25 million in upgrading three existing DNA testing centers. The team will also use techniques developed by the International Commission on Missing Persons. ICMP helped to identify nearly all the people who were killed in the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 as well as others slain during the conflict in former Yugoslavia.  http://dailym.ai/1JNZW09

Three mass graves found in Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Ahlulbayt News Agency reported on 14 January that three mass graves were found in the village of Abu Hamam in Syria’s eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, the Syrian Center for Human Rights reported on Wednesday.  “The dead bodies found in the newly discovered mass graves are believed to belong to members of the Shaitat tribe who have been massacred” by ISIS, Syrian lawyer and spokesman of the Center for Human Rights Ibrahim Hussein said. The source added that 37 corpses were found in the three mass graves. Several children and women were among the victims. The center has earlier documented six mass graves that have been left by ISIS militants in Deir ez-Zor countryside. http://bit.ly/1nn5C7x

Mexico violence never ends, 5 more disappeared by police

Telesur news portal carried a story today saying that four police officers were detained in Mexico’s violence-ridden state of Veracruz Thursday for suspected involvement in the forced disappearance of five young people. Witnesses say the five had been taken into police custody before they disappeared. Attorney General of Veracruz Luis Angel Bravo said in a statement that the officers are suspected of having committed a “flagrant crime” and that the evidence suggested the officers had attempted to hide their actions. The attorney general’s office is currently investigating the case with the goal of locating the missing and bringing those responsible to justice. http://bit.ly/1J6nddR

Nine bodies washed up on Turkish coast as migrants keep crossing

Reuters reported on 14 January that the bodies of nine people, some of whom may have drowned up to 10 days earlier, were found on Turkey’s western coast this week as the flow of Europe-bound migrants persisted despite rough winter weather and the efforts of the Turkish government. The coastguard said separately it had found the bodies of a girl and two women after a boat part-capsized. It rescued 13 people, but a search continued for two men and a boy. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 24,000 crossed the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy in the first two weeks of January. http://reut.rs/1J5GQCR

Nigeria orders investigation into girls kidnapped by Boko Haram

RTE News, a news portal from Ireland, reported on 14 January that Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a new investigation into the kidnapping of 219 schoolgirls by Islamist group Boko Haram in April 2014 from the town of Chibok, the presidency has said. A statement said a panel would be announced soon by the National Security Advisor. The decision comes after parents of the girls and the ‘’Bring Back Our Girls’’ movement marched to the presidential villa to demand a meeting with Buhari earlier on Thursday. The Boko Haram militants raided a school while the girls were taking exams in April 2014. http://bit.ly/1lbe7AS

Cyprus: Missing persons identifications dwindling

The Cyprus Mail reported today that Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has warned that the number of remains of missing persons discovered by forensic experts is dropping. He said the 30 military sites in in the north of Cyprus where Ankara has said excavations can take place are not enough, since it is not expected to locate the remains of more than 140 missing persons in the next three years, out of a total of 1,032. Photiou said that almost 42 years after the Turkish invasion, two thirds of missing persons are still listed as missing, stressing that time is working against the issue. http://bit.ly/1lcXJQh

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.