Publicación categorizada: Press Releases

Interpol Visits ICMP to Discuss Disaster Victim Identification

A delegation of officials from Interpol, the international police organization based in Lyon, France, visited ICMP on Friday May 13, 2005, to discuss possible cooperation with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) on Disaster Victim Identification around the world. Interpol is helping to coordinate international police efforts to identify the victims of the South East Asian tsunami disaster of last December.During their one-day visit to ICMP Sarajevo Headquarters on Friday, the Interpol officials met with ICMP Directors and DNA analysis and database experts to discuss coordination between ICMP and Interpol on tsunami victim identification.

After meeting with the Interpol officials, Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Chief of Staff, emphasized that ICMP was ready to help identify victims however it could, “Although our mandate is to assist in the identification of persons missing as a result of conflict or human rights abuses,” she said, “We have the capability and the capacity to…

ICMP to Help Identify Tsunami Victims as a Humanitarian Measure

In response to the overwhelming problem of identification of victims of the December 2004 Asian tsunami, police from Thailand, the United Kingdom and Germany have asked the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) for assistance in the identification process using DNA.Thai Police, Scotland Yard and German Federal Police representatives brought 750 bone samples to ICMP’s Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, headquarters on Thursday (May 5, 2005). The bone samples will be analyzed within 60 days in ICMP’s DNA laboratories in Sarajevo and Tuzla, eastern Bosnia, to obtain DNA profiles. The joint delegation brought the bone samples to ICMP as prior testing performed by private DNA laboratories was not sufficiently successful.

Obtaining DNA profiles from hard tissue such as bone or teeth is more complicated than from soft tissue and as a result of its work in the identification of victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, ICMP has developed successful methods of…

Srebrenica Mothers Exchange Experience with Kosovo Families of Missing

At the invitation of associations of families of missing persons in Kosovo, a group of three Srebrenica family association representatives are visiting Kosovo from Bosnia-Herzegovina to participate in the commemoration of missing from the village of Meja on April 27 and to exchange experience with associations of families of missing persons in Kosovo.The annual event gathers thousands of local residents in memory of the 374 victims who were taken from Meja, near Gjakova in Kosovo on that April 27, 1999. To date, the bodies of 182 of them have been identified and 166 have been buried. On April 27, 2005 an additional 16 identified persons will be buried. The remains of victims from Meja were exhumed from mass graves in Batajnica, Serbia and were identified with the assistance of DNA matching by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

The Srebrenica family representatives will make public remarks as part of…

“Hard Statistics” Cannot Be Abused for Political Gain

In a region where political manipulation of numbers of killed and missing from previous wars fanned the flames of further conflicts, ICMP Chairman James Kimsey told reporters on Tuesday that accurate accounting of the missing is essential.Speaking after a tour of ICMP’s Identification Coordination Division (ICD) in Tuzla, eastern Bosnia, which houses the ICMP databases storing DNA information obtained from bones exhumed from grave sites and from blood samples of family members searching for missing relatives, Mr. Kimsey said the work of ICMP represented the first attempt in the world to accurately account for persons missing as a result of conflict. Since it made its first DNA match in November 2001, ICMP has found DNA matches with family members for more than 7,300 missing individuals at the ICD and every day brings more matches.

“DNA technology can now provide empirical evidence of a person’s identity and it can provide hard…

Council of Ministers, Presidency Give Full Support to Implementation of a State-Level Institute for the Missing

In talks with International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Chairman James Kimsey this morning, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Adnan Terzić, and entity Prime Ministers Ahmet Hadžipašić and Pero Bukejlović, as well as the Mayor of the Brčko District, Mirsad Đapo, agreed on the Protocol to establish the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) as a State-level institution.At a press conference following the meeting, Mr. Kimsey, who is on a two-day visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, told reporters that following intensive and successful deliberations with the governments, and with the full support of the families of the missing, the Protocol simply awaited final approval from the Council of Ministers. “I have a guarantee from Mr. Terzic that he will fast-track this procedure”, said Mr. Kimsey.

At a meeting later in the morning with the Chairman of the BiH Joint Presidency, His Excellency Borislav Paravac, Mr. Kimsey thanked Mr. Pavarac for supporting the…

The Netherlands Continues Support for Identification of War Victims in BiH

The Royal Netherlands Embassy made a contribution of one million Euros yesterday to support the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the identification of victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The Netherlands Embassy has requested that the funding be used to assist in the identification of victims of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in particular of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica.Identification of the estimated 8,000 Srebrenica victims is complicated by the fact that many of the mass graves in which they were buried were dug up and the bodies moved, sometimes more than once, in efforts by the perpetrators to hide evidence of the killings. As a consequence, victims’ remains have been commingled in secondary mass graves; in some cases, the remains of a single victim are found in two or more grave sites.

“As we approach the tenth anniversary of the…

Rolf Ekéus Joins ICMP Commission

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that Swedish Ambassador and High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Rolf Ekéus has joined the ICMP Commission.Ambassador Ekéus has a distinguished career in international diplomacy, with a strong focus on arms control, disarmament and conflict prevention. As well as representing Sweden for many years in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Ambassador Ekéus was, from 1991 to 1997, Director of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), the UN body charged with overseeing Iraqi disarmament.

Ambassador Ekéus’ dedication to conflict prevention, his experience in working with national minorities and his background in Iraq will be valuable assets to the mission of ICMP. Through its work in exhumation and identification of victims of violent conflict, as well as its policy advocacy with governments and support of families of missing victims,…

Norwegian Donation to Support Work of ICMP

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has donated 300,000 Euros to support the activities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), contributing to the identification of persons missing in the former Yugoslavia as a result of armed conflicts in the region.Explaining the importance of the work his country is supporting, Norwegian Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina Henrik Ofstad said “This work is about truth and justice, and it will help family members who lost loved ones to know what happened to their relatives. We have to do our utmost to contribute to the identification of those who were killed in the terrible wars in this region. As we have the people and the technology to do it, nothing should prevent us helping to resolve fate of those missing persons. ICMP has done a remarkable job so far, and I wish ICMP further success in this important work.”

The Norwegian assistance is…

The ICMP Exhibition “Voices of the Missing” held in Novi Sad

Human Rights Festival VIVISECT, organized by the Regional Women Initiative “Vojvođanka” from 13 to 19 December 2004, in Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro, featured the “Voices of the Missing” exhibition presented by the International Commission of Missing Persons (ICMP).”War conflicts in the area of former Yugoslavia – a view from the inside and outside,” was title of the first part of the festival, in which regional and international artists presented the films and photo exhibitions. The goal of the festival was to initiate a public discussion about the war in the former Yugoslavia, to point out the necessity of knowing facts regarding the war conflict, to present truth as a mosaic of different elements, which when combined give a more clear perspective on the recent past.

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) first organized the “Voices of the Missing” exhibition at the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo,…

Families Consulted on Legal Changes in Missing Persons Issue

At a conference organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Friday, December 10, 2004, representatives of the Council of Ministers told family members of missing persons from across Bosnia-Herzegovina that their opinions would be taken into consideration in the establishment of a state-level Missing Persons Institute. The one-day conference, held in Sarajevo on Human Rights day to underline that resolution of the fate of missing persons is a human rights issue, was organized by ICMP to inform and consult with family members about implications of the adoption of the Law on Missing Persons and progress on the Missing Persons Institute (MPI).Representatives of the Families’ Associations attending the conference reiterated their desire to be active participants in resolving the fate of their loved ones and in the work of the Missing Persons Institute, but raised questions about regional representation within BiH of the Missing Persons Institute. They said…