Honoring the International Day of the Disappeared –30 August 2003

On the occasion of 30 August – the International Day of the Disappeared, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) calls for urgent attention to be paid to resolving the problem of missing persons in the former Yugoslavia. The anguish of not knowing the fate of a missing loved one constitutes a daily torture for these thousands of mothers, sisters, and wives, as well as other relatives. Finally knowing the truth about the fate of a missing loved one and being able to give them a dignified funeral is critical to the overall peace building and reconciliation process for these individuals and their communities.The problem of disappearances is a global problem, with cases in more than 30 countries around the world. ICMP also offers its expression of solidarity to members of the Latin American non-governmental organization FEDEFAM (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos- Desaparecidos), the Asian Federation…

ICMP Forensic Experts are Participates in this Year’s Largest Gathering of World-Renowned DNA Experts

International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is going to be present at the Third European American School in Forensic Genetics and Mayo Clinic Course in Advanced Molecular and Cellular Medicine. The Course will take place in Zagreb, Croatia between the 1st and 5th September 2003.Our scientists will be in position to discuss their work with the most respected experts all over the world in the fields of Forensic Genetics. Possibility to take part in such a high profiled gathering was given to us as recognition of our developed scientific researching as well as our humanitarian role in the region. We cooperate closely with all local Governments and institutions that are working in process of identification of missing persons.

Gordon Bacon, Chief of Staff of ICMP, stated: ” ICMP has been present in the region for seven years. Unfortunately there are more than 40 000 people missing after conflicts that happened…

Conference on the Right to Know – Determining of the Fate and Whereabouts of the Arrested, Kidnapped and Otherwise Missing Persons in FYROM/Macedonia

For the first time, the highest representatives of the FYROM/Macedonia, the International Community and the representatives of families of missing persons have met in one place to discuss common issues.

Today in Skopje the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) organized a Conference on ‘The Right to Know’, making it possible for the Government’s representatives and members of the families of arrested, kidnapped and otherwise missing persons to define together how to implement the Document that was adopted on 24th June 2003 by the Parliament of the FYROM/Macedonia. The Document defined a need to establish a Commission on the Determination of the Fate of Kidnapped and Missing Persons in the FYROM/Macedonia who disappeared during the crisis in 2001.

The Commission would consist of members of the Macedonian Parliament, members of the Government of FYROM/Macedonia, one representative of the families of both the kidnapped Macedonians…

C.S. Mott Foundation Approves Grant to ICMP

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, based in Michigan, has approved a grant of US$ 150,000 to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Civil Society Initiatives department for its work supporting Associations of Families of Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia.ICMP believes that family members of the missing are central to its work and that family associations play a critical role in addressing the missing persons issue through advocacy, education, data collection and raising public awareness. ICMP works with all ethnic/religious groups seeking missing loved ones resulting from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, 1991 to 1995 and 1998 to 1999. Recently, activities have been expanded to include work in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Associations of Families of Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia have taken on important tasks of addressing their own and their members’ personal tragedies, but they also have the potential to be actively engaged…

The 1000th Srebrenica Victim Identified by ICMP

ICMP announced today, the 8th Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre that, the 1,000th Srebrenica missing person has been identified. An additional 676 cases have found a DNA match with the family blood samples and are currently waiting to be confirmed and certified as closed cases. The number of both DNA matches and closed cases is increasing daily as a result of additional DNA profiles being obtained from both recovered bodies as well as family blood samples.Gordon Bacon, Chief of Staff of ICMP, welcomed this achievement: ” This is an important milestone for ICMP in helping families who lost their loved ones during the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995 but there is still a long way to go. Everyone involved in the process must continue the work of finding remains and giving back names to the thousands of persons still missing. All of us at ICMP are dedicated to…

Expertise from Former Yugoslavia Could Help Iraq

The experience gained in finding and identifying the thousands of missing in former Yugoslavia could be valuable in assisting the authorities in Iraq address the issue of missing persons there. James Kimsey, Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and a delegation of senior ICMP staff, have just returned from an assessment visit to Iraq and are ready to make recommendations to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which is the government authority currently responsible for administering Iraq.The objective of the visit of the ICMP delegation was to assess whether ICMP’s experience gained working on the missing persons issue in the former Yugoslavia could be valuable in addressing the issue in Iraq, where there are an estimated 300,000 persons missing as a consequence of decades of enforced disappearance and other human rights abuses perpetrated by Saddam Hussein’s regime.

During their visit to Iraq, Mr. Kimsey and the ICMP staff…

ICMP announces 3,000 DNA Reports for Bosnia and Herzegovina

The International Commission on Missing Persons announced today, June 27rd, that it had achieved its 3,000th DNA report related to cases of missing persons in Bosnia and Hercegovina. This is a result of a dramatic increase in the rate of generating DNA reports, which produced the first successful match in November 2001. It required 11 months to produce the first 1,000 DNA reports, but as the ICMP system began to test large numbers of blood and bone samples the rate of DNA reporting has increased.It is important to realize that a DNA report is not in itself an identification, though it is an important milestone on the way. There are two basic types of DNA reports:

DNA Match Report: This is issued whenever a link is found and confirmed between the DNA profile from a bone sample and from the Family Reference Database. This Database contains the DNA profiles of…

James Kimsey and HM Queen Noor Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr James Kimsey, Chairman of ICMP, accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, who is an ICMP commissioner, are visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina to see the work of the ICMP in action and to discuss future strategy.On Wednesday June 11 they met with the members of the BiH Joint Presidency, following a meeting with Mr Adnan Terzic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Mr Mirsad Kebo, Minister for Human Rights and Refugees. The theme of these meetings was the implementation of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) which will carry on the work addressing the missing persons’ issue in BiH for the long term. Mr Kimsey thanked the members of the BiH Presidency for their support for the MPI, and asked them for a commitment that they will continue this support through the creation of a protocol for MPI so that it is adopted by Parliament and ready…

Conclusions of Associations of Families of Missing Persons for Former Yugoslavia

The Seventh Regional Conference on Missing Persons Issues for associations of families of missing persons was held in Sarajevo from 16 May 2003 to 19 May 2003 at the Hotel Saraj, Sarajevo, organised by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

This conference was attended by more than 75 family association representatives, members of Government Commissions on Missing Persons from the former Yugoslavia, and other institutions concerned with the missing persons issue.

For the first time, family associations and government representatives from FYROM/Macedonia participated in the regional conference. Despite being the first time that opposing sides to the conflict in FYROM/Macedonia had met, they agreed on joint activities in the future and recognised that they could learn from families who already had such experience of cooperation.

Associations discussed common issues regardless of religious or national background, and concluded that they will be stronger if they work together on lobbying responsible government authorities,…

Repatriation of the first group of identified Kosovo Albanians found in Serbia

Today, 8 May 2003, the first group of 37 remains of killed Kosovo Albanians was handed over from the Coordination Centre for Kosovo and Metohija based in Belgrade to the representatives of UNMIK in Kosovo. The handover of bodies took place at the border crossing in Merdare at noon. The mortal remains were recovered from sites in Batajnica, near Belgrade, where the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) estimates a total of 700 mortal remains were recovered during 2001 and 2002.Since the first mass graves of Kosovo Albanians were uncovered near Belgrade in the summer of 2001, ICMP has endeavored to make certain that these mortal remains were exhumed and identified as fast as could be done in a scientifically accurate manner.

With permission from the Serbian government and the appropriate local courts, ICMP has monitored the exhumations process in Serbia since 2001. ICMP anthropologists, archeologists and recovery monitors were…