Baghdad, 18 August 2023: On 15 August 2014, in the village of Kojo in the Sinjar region of Iraq, Yazidi residents were massacred by Da’esh; women and children were abducted. Many of the victims are still missing.
Speaking on the anniversary of this crime, the Director General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, described the Kojo massacre as “a stark and painful reminder” of the absolute necessity of pursuing justice, truth, and accountability, and she said ICMP would continue to help the Iraqi authorities to locate, recover, and identify victims.
“Nine years ago, the Yazidi community faced a devastating onslaught fueled by hatred,” Bomberger said. “Today, ICMP is working closely with the Iraqi National Team – the Martyrs’ Foundation Department of Mass Graves Affairs and Protection, the Medico-Legal Directorate of the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs – to uphold the right of victims and families of the missing to justice, truth, and reparations.”
The Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program, Alexander Hug, said that as well as providing technical assistance with forensic archeology, DNA-led identification and database technology, ICMP is supporting institutional initiatives to sustain an effective long-term missing persons process in Iraq.
“Our joint effort with Iraqi partners aims to ensure that no family is left without answers, and that justice is upheld as an essential pillar of healing and reconciliation,” Hug said.
ICMP’s Iraq Program is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, and the Government of the Netherlands
ICMP is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so.