Conclusions of Associations of Families of Missing Persons for Former Yugoslavia

19 May 2003: 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…

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

8 May 2003: Today, 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…

US Families Respond to ICMP Visit

27 Februar 2003: 163 people from Bosnia and Hercegovina now living in Chicago and St Louis gave blood samples last week, hoping to find their missing loved ones.The International Commission on Missing Persons’ mission to Chicago, which was primarily to attend the convention of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences was a great success. The 17 presentations made by its scientists and managers has put the ICMP firmly among world leaders in both traditional forensic techniques and DNA analysis. According to Ed Huffine, Director of the DNA programme:

” We were asked if we would share the DNA testing procedures that we have developed and we will. The international forensic community is now aware of ICMP’s staff, accomplishments and standards.”

But the trip achieved much more. Bosnian and Hercegovinan communities took advantage of the ICMP presence to ask if their members could donate blood samples to be added to the DNA…

Chicago’s Balkan Population Invited to Take Part in Missing Persons Program

12 Februar 2003: Staff members of the International Commission on Missing Persons for the former Yugoslavia (ICMP) will be in Chicago for a week from Saturday 15th February, to take part in the annual Convention of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). The ICMP team members will be presenting 18 papers at the Convention, considerably more than any one organisation has ever presented in the past – 7 being the previous best.Chicago is now home to around 50,000 people whose families originated in the former Yugoslavia, many of whom have loved ones missing after the recent Balkan conflicts. ICMP will give these families the opportunity to take part in their advanced DNA analysis program, which is now identifying up to 250 people per month. This program matches DNA samples taken from recovered mortal remains with those from blood samples donated by family members of the missing. To date,…