Publicación categorizada: Press Releases

ICMP Finds Improved Methods for Locating Mass Graves

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers commissioned by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has detected geographic patterns associated with mass graves that will help find hidden graves in the future. ICMP presented the findings of its study this morning at the site of one of the known but as yet unexcavated mass graves in eastern Bosnia that was used in the study.By studying 16 different known mass graves sites in the area, the team of satellite imagery experts, geology experts and forensic archaeologists who visited Bosnia-Herzegovina in May found common characteristics that will help locate other grave sites.

The researchers, from the United States and the United Kingdom, found that mass graves in the area were characteristically in river valleys; in the corner of meadows or agricultural fields; within 100 meters of a road; on a low slope from the road to the site; and colonized by dense weeds…

German Donation to Support ICMP DNA Laboratories

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has received a 150,000 Euro contribution from the Government of Germany towards the work of ICMP DNA laboratories in the former Yugoslavia.The ICMP incorporates the use of DNA as a primary tool in post-conflict identifications; this method requires the collection and profiling of DNA from blood samples donated by family members with missing relatives for matching with DNA extracted from bone samples taken from recovered mortal remains.

“DNA informed identifications are the only way to accurately identify large numbers of persons missing from armed conflicts. This contribution will help the work of ICMP laboratories, supplying them with the chemicals crucial for DNA analysis”, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Chief of Staff when the donation was received. “Through the use of DNA, ICMP has provided accurate identifications and thus hopes to have contributed to a sense of closure for family members and helped the society…

Council of Ministers Formally Approves Missing Persons Institute

The BiH Council of Ministers this morning formally approved the establishment of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) as a State-level institute to search for missing persons across the country. The MPI will provide BiH with a sustainable national mechanism to address the issue of persons missing as a result of the conflicts in BiH, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin.The Missing Persons Institute was originally founded by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in August 2000. Following today’s approval of the Agreement on Assuming the Role of Co-Founders of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council of Ministers will become a co-founder of the Institute, along with ICMP.

The official signing ceremony of the Agreement will take place on 30 August in Sarajevo. August 30 is International Day of the Disappeared and it has become customary that on this day victims from across the…

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…

Ireland Contributes to ICMP Funding

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has received a contribution from the Government of Ireland towards its work in the former Yugoslavia. The 150,000 Euro contribution was the first installment of a two-year commitment made by the Government of Ireland; Ireland has pledged to make a contribution of the same amount in 2006.The Government of Ireland has been a valued supporter of the activities of ICMP, which assists governments in addressing missing persons issues, since 2002.

ICMP is an international organization funded entirely by donor governments and foundations. This financial assistance enables the work of ICMP’s forensic anthropologists and archeologists at mass grave sites, of scientists in the ICMP laboratories extracting DNA profiles from bones and family members’ blood samples for identification of the missing, and of other ICMP programs that assist family members of missing persons and local governments.

ICMP activities are also supported by the Governments of the…

Holy See Contributes to ICMP Funding

A contribution from the Holy See this morning is the latest addition to funding for the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).The Holy See has been a valued supporter of the activities of ICMP, which assists governments in addressing missing persons issues, since 2002.

ICMP is an international organization funded entirely by donor governments and foundations. This financial assistance enables the work of ICMP’s forensic anthropologists and archeologists at mass grave sites, of scientists in the ICMP laboratories extracting DNA profiles from bones and family members’ blood samples for identification of the missing, and of other ICMP programs that assist family members of missing persons and local governments.

“The importance of this support goes well beyond the material value of the donation itself and shows the missing persons’ family members that the international community still attaches significance to the issue of the missing in the region of the former Yugoslavia,” said…

Srebrenica Victims Identified by ICMP to be Buried at Memorial Ceremony

Almost 600 victims of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica, recovered from mass graves across eastern Bosnia, will be buried on Monday, July 11, their identities established by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).The memorial ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica will allow family members to bury their dead with dignity, the fate of their missing loved ones finally resolved. Of the 7,789 Srebrenica victims registered on the ICMP database, for whom family members have come forward and given a blood sample for DNA identification, 2,079 have so far been identified. Most have already been buried at the Potocari Cemetery, where they will be joined on Monday by the most recent victims to be identified.

The joint burial will include 581 victims of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica identified by ICMP, as well as some close relatives of those victims who were killed in other events…

ICMP to Collect Blood Samples in Switzerland

Blood collection teams from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will be visiting Basel, Baar, Geneva, and Yverdon in Switzerland from July 1 to July 3 to collect blood samples from family members of persons missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.The blood samples are needed for DNA identification of remains found in grave sites across the former Yugoslavia. Since the year 2000, ICMP has collected over 71,180 blood samples from family members, relating to 25,721 missing individuals from the region. As DNA is used to trace genetic links with family members, samples are needed from several family members for each missing person. Of the missing persons on its database, ICMP has already found DNA matches for 7,706 individuals.

ICMP is actively collecting blood samples from family members, and as there are large numbers of refugees living in other countries, ICMP extended its outreach campaign last year to…

Government of Greece to Help Equip ICMP

The Government of Greece has once again joined the donor governments of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), making a financial contribution towards equipping the newly-established ICMP Re-association Center in Lukavac, eastern Bosnia.During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, remains of victims buried in mass graves were often separated and “commingled” when the perpetrators of killings tried to hide evidence of their crimes by digging up the bodies and re-burying them in secondary mass graves. At the ICMP Re-association Center, skeletal remains of the missing are put back together using a combination of archaeological information, anthropological work and a method whereby a limited DNA profile is generated to allow for re-association of separated body parts. In this way, the ICMP Re-association Center is helping to ensure that more individuals are accounted for and that the process of re-association does not further delay the identification of remains and their return…

Identification of Srebrenica Victims Passes 2,000

One month before the 10th anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica in 1995, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has completed identifications of more than 2,000 of the Srebrenica victims. There are altogether almost 7,800 persons listed on the ICMP database of the missing from Srebrenica, and, as family members continue to report missing relatives and donate blood samples for DNA identification, that number is slowly growing. Many of the missing have not yet been exhumed from mass graves that are still hidden around the country.

On Thursday morning, Dr. Rifat Kesetovic, ICMP’s Chief Forensic Pathologist and also the official court-appointed pathologist for Srebrenica cases, signed the 2,000th Srebrenica-related death certificate at the ICMP morgue in Tuzla, about 60 kilometers from Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia.

“We still have a very, very long way to go in this process,” said Dr. Kesetovic, whose staff left the ICMP facility after the death…