17 September 2007: The Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barisa Colak, and the Chief Prosecutor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marinko Jurcevic, were impressed with the results achieved by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in assisting Bosnia and Herzegovina to address the issue of persons missing as result of armed conflict. Recently, ICMP made its 10,000 DNA match of persons missing from the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina.The ICMP system of DNA-led identifications was established in response to the difficulty of locating recovering and identifying persons large numbers of missing persons in a post conflict environment. The use of a DNA-led process is the most accurate method to identify persons from conflict or crimes against humanity.
During the visit to ICMP facilities in Tuzla on Monday, State officials thanked the organization for its participation and contribution to the process. “More than half of the missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been identified and buried. Significant number with the assistance of DNA analysis provided by the ICMP”, said Marinko Jurcevic, BiH Chief Prosecutor. “We are aware that identification techniques used before were not accurate as appliance of DNA in the process, but we have established a mechanism to correct mistake made in past if they arise. It is exclusively the job of the prosecutor in charge to act accordingly.”
“Families of the missing need to know the fate of their missing and we have the responsibility to provide them with that information”, said BiH Minister of Justice, Barisa Colak, and added “justice needs to be served”. “Though the intensified joint activities of all of us, we need to bring peace not only to the families of the missing but for the whole society as well.”
In order to improve and speed up the process of forensic examination of exhumed mortal remains, the Minister of Justice and Chief Prosecutor held a preliminary discussion with ICMP and Tuzla Canton prosecutors and forensic experts. The discussion focused on the initiative to create a forensic institute on state level to help local judicial authorities in war crime investigations.
“Resolving the cases of violations of human rights by providing scientific support in addressing the issue of missing persons will ease the post conflict transition of Bosnia and Herzegovina into a modern European stable society”, said Jeffrey Buenger, ICMP Director of Government Relations.