BiH Prosecutors Tour ICMP Identification Facilities in Tuzla

20 October 2005: Forty Prosecutors from all levels of government in Bosnia-Herzegovina visited the identification facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla, eastern Bosnia, on Thursday.The prosecutors were shown details of the process of identification of mortal remains exhumed from individual and mass graves related to the 1992-95 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The State Court is now prosecuting war crimes and better understanding of the identification process, as well as the way secondary grave sites were created, is likely to aid their cases.

ICMP assists local authorities in excavation and exhumation of grave sites and in the identification of remains, using a combination of traditional forensic techniques coupled with cutting edge DNA technology. The introduction of DNA by the ICMP as the basis for finding the identity of remains on a mass scale has radically changed the prospects of identification of the missing. ICMP created a database…

ICMP Announces DNA Results in Croatia

21 September 2005: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Croatian Ministry of Family, Veteran’s Affairs, and Intergenerational Solidarity announced the first results of Joint Project on DNA-led Identifications. Based on these results, an additional 50 families will finally know the fate of their loved ones.Forty-five matches between blood samples collected by ICMP and bone samples analyzed in labs in Croatia were generated in Croatian labs. Five new matches were generated between bones analyzed by ICMP and blood collected by Croatian authorities, with another two matches regenerated under the project which had already been matched in ICMP labs.

“Today we see tremendous results. But rather than the culmination of the project, it is what we hope will be seen as the commencement of a new phase of increased joint success in providing answers to all families,” said Jeffrey Buenger, ICMP Director of Government Relations. “Both sides anticipate additional…

ICMP Continues with Identification of Tsunami Victims

13 September 2005: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has, to date, submitted 326 DNA Match Reports to the Thai authorities, pursuant to ICMP’s work on identification of the tsunami victims as part of its humanitarian efforts.In May 2005, ICMP agreed with the Government of Thailand to assist in the identification of tsunami victims. ICMP analyzes bone samples in order to extract DNA profiles and compare them with DNA profiles from the reference samples collected by the Thai authorities and authorities of the countries whose citizens went missing in Thailand during the tsunami. A DNA match report indicating identity of a missing person is forwarded to the Thai authorities.

The Tsunami Victim Identification Tracking Chart, posted on ICMP’s web site, contains the number of bone samples received, DNA profiles obtained from bone samples, and the number of DNA match reports. Further, it contains a breakdown by country of origin…

Missing Persons Institute Launched on International Day of the Disappeared

30 August 2005: The Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia-Herzegovina was officially launched this morning at a ceremony at the Government Joint Institutions Building in Sarajevo. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Minister for Human Rights and Refugees, Mirsad Kebo, and Chief of Staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, signed the agreement that established the Council of Ministers as a co-founder of the Institute, along with the ICMP, thereby launching the Institute at the level of the State of Bosnia Herzegovina.Until today’s State-level launch of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI), which was originally created in 2000 by ICMP, responsibility for addressing the issue of the missing from the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) was divided between the country’s two highly autonomous entities.

“The implementation of the Missing Persons Institute marks a milestone in the history of both BiH and the International Commission on Missing Persons,” said Kathryne Bomberger in a speech at…

Families of Missing Persons Demand Justice

29 August 2005: Family members of persons missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia will join voices with thousands of others across the world tomorrow to mark the International Day of the Disappeared.The problem of disappearances is a global concern, with cases in more than 30 countries around the world. August 30th is recognized as the International Day of the Disappeared, following the custom of marking the day that was started in the early 1980’s by a Latin American federation of associations of families of detained and missing persons. It has since been adopted as a day of commemoration for associations of families of missing persons by international human rights groups around the world.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina this year, the day will be marked by the launch of a new State-level organization, the Missing Persons Institute (MPI), which will search for the missing regardless of their nationality or…

International Day of the Disappeared: 30th August

26 August 2005: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) announces that the 30 August 2005 International Day of the Disappeared will be marked throughout the former Yugoslavia with a series of events. These events have been organized in each country by local partners of ICMP to raise public awareness of the missing persons issue and to demand speeding up the process of tracing for missing persons.Due to the thousands of cases of disappearance in the former Yugoslavia, the public is encouraged to join with associations of families of the missing around the world to commemorate this day. Media are invited to attend all events.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Sunday, 28 August 2005, Nevesinje: 19:00, book promotion organized at the Dom Kultura by the Union of Associations of Families of Captured and Missing Persons of Republic of Srpska. For further information please contact Milijana Bojic at +387 65 998 804.

Monday, 29 August…

Families are Driving Force for Institute

26 August 2005: Representatives of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and government officials met with family members of the missing in Sarajevo on Thursday to explain how the new State-level Missing Persons Institute will be organized. Along with ICMP, representatives from the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina and entity-level Government commissions on missing persons spoke with 45 representatives of associations of families of missing persons from across the country who attended the meeting.The Missing Persons Institute (MPI) will be officially launched next Tuesday as the State-level authority that will be responsible for addressing the missing persons issue across the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The current Federation Commission for Tracing Missing Persons and the RS Office for Tracing Detained and Missing Persons will be merged into the MPI, which will take over the responsibilities, work, staff and budgets of the current entity bodies. The…

ICMP Finds Improved Methods for Locating Mass Graves

16 August 2005: A multi-disciplinary team of researchers commissioned by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has detected geographic patterns associated with mass graves that will help find hidden graves in the future. ICMP presented the findings of its study this morning at the site of one of the known but as yet unexcavated mass graves in eastern Bosnia that was used in the study.By studying 16 different known mass graves sites in the area, the team of satellite imagery experts, geology experts and forensic archaeologists who visited Bosnia-Herzegovina in May found common characteristics that will help locate other grave sites.

The researchers, from the United States and the United Kingdom, found that mass graves in the area were characteristically in river valleys; in the corner of meadows or agricultural fields; within 100 meters of a road; on a low slope from the road to the site; and colonized…

German Donation to Support ICMP DNA Laboratories

15 August 2005: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has received a 150,000 Euro contribution from the Government of Germany towards the work of ICMP DNA laboratories in the former Yugoslavia.The ICMP incorporates the use of DNA as a primary tool in post-conflict identifications; this method requires the collection and profiling of DNA from blood samples donated by family members with missing relatives for matching with DNA extracted from bone samples taken from recovered mortal remains.

“DNA informed identifications are the only way to accurately identify large numbers of persons missing from armed conflicts. This contribution will help the work of ICMP laboratories, supplying them with the chemicals crucial for DNA analysis”, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Chief of Staff when the donation was received. “Through the use of DNA, ICMP has provided accurate identifications and thus hopes to have contributed to a sense of closure for family members and…

Council of Ministers Formally Approves Missing Persons Institute

5 August 2005: The BiH Council of Ministers this morning formally approved the establishment of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) as a State-level institute to search for missing persons across the country. The MPI will provide BiH with a sustainable national mechanism to address the issue of persons missing as a result of the conflicts in BiH, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin.The Missing Persons Institute was originally founded by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in August 2000. Following today’s approval of the Agreement on Assuming the Role of Co-Founders of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council of Ministers will become a co-founder of the Institute, along with ICMP.

The official signing ceremony of the Agreement will take place on 30 August in Sarajevo. August 30 is International Day of the Disappeared and it has become customary that on this day victims…