On the occasion of August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) would like to remind States of their obligation to address the problem of missing persons resulting from armed conflicts. Repairing the wounds of the past through truth and justice is a precondition for a peaceful future, not only for the individual relatives and victims, but also for the whole society.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Union of Ex Camp Inmates of Bosnia and Herzegovina signed today in Sarajevo an agreement on support for a project on reparations, which includes organizing an international conference to discuss models of reparations for victims of torture and other war victims.The conference planned to take place from 15-17 September entitled “Transitional Justice: Reparations For War Victims – Models and Recommendations” should result in concrete recommendations to state institutions and other decision makers on possible types of reparations programs for war victims, including specific measures for rehabilitation of torture victims. The Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees started a process in 2006 to draft a new state level law on “Rights of torture and civilian war victims.”
During his visit to the identification facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla on Monday, the High Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, said he was impressed with the work that has been done in the identification of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his first visit to ICMP’s facilities, the High Representative toured the Identification Coordination Division (ICD) and the Podrinje Identification Project (PIP).ICMP uses science as tool to address one of the biggest human rights issues facing BiH today. ICMP has pioneered the use of DNA as primary tool in missing persons identification, demonstrating success on massive scale. To learn about ICMP’s scientific methods, Christian Schwarz-Schilling toured the ICMP ICD, the center which stores, archives and matches all blood samples taken from relatives of missing persons and all bone samples taken from exhumed mortal remains.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has received a further contribution from the Government of Ireland towards its work in the former Yugoslavia. The 150,000 Euro contribution was the second installment of a two-year commitment made by the Government of Ireland in 2005.”The continued funding by Irish Aid underlines the commitment of the Government of Ireland to resolving the issue of missing persons. This is an important step in post-conflict institution building, peace initiatives and reconciliation,” said ICMP Chief of Staff Kathryne Bomberger, when the funding was announced. “The Government of Ireland has been a valued supporter of the activities of ICMP since 2002; such support is vital for the continuation of this important work,” she added.
At ceremonies in nine different locations across the region of Prijedor, in north-western Bosnia-Herzegovina, 305 victims of the 1992-95 conflict will be buried tomorrow, Thursday 20 July 2006. Most of them were killed during the summer of 1992 and the burial is being held on the 14th anniversary of many of the deaths. All the bodies to be buried were identified with the assistance of the International Commission on Missing Persons DNA-led identification program.More than 3,300 persons were reported as missing from the Prijedor municipality following the end of the conflict. So far, 1,449 have been identified.
Some 500 victims of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica, recovered from mass graves across eastern Bosnia, were buried today at the Potocari Cemetery just outside Srebrenica, their identities established by DNA testing conducted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).The memorial ceremony marking the eleventh anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica is allowing family members to bury their dead with dignity, the fate of their missing loved ones finally resolved. Of the 7,789 Srebrenica victims in the ICMP database, for whom family members have come forward and given a blood sample for DNA identification, 2,636 have been identified to date.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) passed a major milestone Wednesday, when it recorded 10,000 DNA matches for victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The 10,000th missing person to be identified using ICMP’s unique DNA-led system was a man missing from Prozor, in Central Bosnia, since 1993. The ICMP DNA match report, which indicates the identity of the man with a certainty of 99.99987 per cent, will be forwarded to the local court-appointed pathologist in Sarajevo, 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.
In order to facilitate the access to information, justice and guaranteed rights to the family members of the missing persons, as well as improve the understanding of the Law on Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its practical implementation, Guidebook for the families of the missing was created.
Representatives of the BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) have today presented the Guidebook at the press conference in Sarajevo, attended by the representatives of the associations of the families of the missing.
The consignment of 110 body bags with mortal remains of Kosovo Albanians is the final one arriving from Belgrade to Kosovo. From the first repatriation from Serbia in November 2002, authorities of Serbia in 19 contingents return to Kosovo 729 identified persons. Some of mortal remains are not identified, and the DNA technology of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will be applied in their cases. The ICMP’s DNA analysis was used in the process of identification of the mortal remains that Serbian authorities repatriated today to Kosovo.
These mortal remains have been exhumed from Batajnica and Perućac mass graves. ICMP anthropologists and archeologists assisted in the excavations in 2001 and 2002. With today’s consignment, all remains exhumed on Serbian proper, related to Kosovo conflict, have been repatriated to Kosovo where additional postmortem autopsy will be conducted by UNMIK before returning the bodies to families for burial. …
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) marks its tenth anniversary today. During its first ten years, ICMP has developed a unique, comprehensive and effective system to address missing persons issues around the world, combining political experience with cutting edge scientific expertise and proficiency in building civil society structures.
To commemorate the ten-year anniversary, a special event was held in Washington D.C. on June 27th and was hosted by ICMP’s Commissioners, James Kimsey (ICMP Chairman and founder of AOL), Her Majesty Queen Noor, Michael Portillo (former UK Secretary of Defence), Willem Kok (former Prime Minister of The Netherlands) and Rolf Ekeus (OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities). ICMP began events to mark the anniversary in April, with a roundtable on mechanisms for pursuing justice and human rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina and will continue with conferences, meetings, exhibitions and receptions during the coming months.