On the International Day of Disappeared, the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) of Bosnia and Herzegovina wish to highlight that thousands of persons remain unaccounted for in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of more than 30,000 missing persons at the end of the conflict, an estimated 13,000 are still missing. Their families continue to live in uncertainty and anguish hoping to receive news regarding the fate of their missing relatives.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) passed a major milestone this week, when it recorded its 10,000th DNA match of persons missing from the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The 10,000th missing person to be identified using ICMP’s unique DNA-led system was a man missing from the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995. The ICMP DNA match report, which indicates the identity of the man with a certainty of 99.95 per cent, will be forwarded to the local court-appointed pathologist, who will conduct an official post-mortem examination and make the final, legal identification. The remains will then be returned to the missing man’s family for burial.
The Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sulejman Tihic, visited the “Cancari Road 10” exhumation site in Kamenica, eastern Bosnia, today, where the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is providing assistance to the excavation teams representing the Missing Persons Institute.In an effort to identify the missing from conflicts or human rights abuses, one of the most difficult hurdles is often finding the physical location of mass graves. Perpetrators of the crimes have often gone to great lengths to hide the bodies of the dead and many of the mass graves associated with the 1995 fall of Srebrenica were moved to secondary sites. The perpetrators used heavy machinery to move the bodies, which resulted in body parts becoming fragmented and commingled.
Ten members of the Kosovo Coordination Council of Associations of Families of Missing Persons visited Tuzla and Srebrenica on 10-11 July 2007. The goals of the visit for these families were to better understand the forensic sciences work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), to exchange experiences with representatives of associations of families of missing persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to participate in the 12th annual Srebrenica commemoration and funeral.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is about to make its 10,000th DNA identification of persons missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, of which almost 4,300 are the mortal remains of persons missing from the 1995 fall of Srebrenica. Analyzing DNA profiles extracted from bone samples of exhumed mortal remains and matching them to the DNA profiles obtained from blood samples donated by relatives of the missing, ICMP has assisted BiH in making accurate, DNA-led identifications for the last 5 years. This year, ICMP identified 445 persons who will be buried on the July 11th commemoration at Potočari.
The Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barisa Colak, and the State Chief Prosecutor, Marinko Jurcevic, met with the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Ms. Kathryne Bomberger today during a visit to the headquarters of ICMP, located in Sarajevo.During their visit, they had an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues, including the initiative of the State Prosecutor to establish a State Forensics Institute in BiH.
The Government of Norway made a financial contribution to the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) this week. ICMP received 1,500,000 Norwegian Kroner (186,000 Euros) towards ICMP’s identification project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Since its establishment in 1996, ICMP has assisted the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in addressing the issue of persons missing from the conflict. Using scientific methods, primarily DNA analysis in identification of mortal remains, ICMP has helped thousands of families to find the truth about what happened to their loved ones.
ICMP collects blood samples from relatives of the missing and receives bone samples from court appointed pathologists. These are archived and sent to ICMP laboratories for testing. Once the DNA is extracted DNA profiles are entered into ICMP’s database and matched. To date ICMP’s efforts have resulted in DNA-assisted identifications of 9,756 individuals missing from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Our work is not…
The governing structures of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MPI) held their inaugural meeting today in Sarajevo. The meeting of the Steering and Supervisory Board, along with the Board of Directors, marked the start of the functioning of the MPI. It is a State-level organization co-founded by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).The MPI was inaugurated as a State-level body on 30 August 2005 and will take over all the responsibilities, staff and budgets of the current entity bodies. By creating a sustainable, state-level structure, Bosnia-Herzegovina is taking an important step forward in addressing the issue of the missing.
The Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Judith Cefkin, and the Consul at the Embassy, Paul Boyd, visited the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today. Since its creation in 1996 at a G-7 Summit at the behest of then President Clinton, the United States continues to be one of the biggest supporters ICMP.
During a two day trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Interpol Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble visited the headquarters office of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo and its facilities and programs in Tuzla. His visit was prompted by the successful work the two organizations had contributed to in providing assistance to the Government of Thailand following the December 2004 tsunami.