9 October 2013: ICMP has launched efforts to assist Kenya in the aftermath of the attack the Westgate Shopping Mall, Nairobi. The assistance comes following an invitation from INTERPOL and is a part of ICMP’s Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) efforts.
ICMP is currently in the field in Nairobi providing guidance to local authorities and international teams in the collection of biological reference samples and proper sampling of postmortem samples from victim remains.
ICMP will be providing assistance in identification efforts of the most challenging cases. Previously, Kenyan authorities have successfully completed the identification of complete and intact mortal remains.
“In these difficult days for Kenya we mourn the victims of this heinous attack. ICMP is already making every effort to swiftly provide assistance to Kenyan authorities so that the unidentified victims are scientifically accounted for and returned to their families. Attacks like this require a robust and coordinated international response and ICMP is pleased to work in partnership with INTERPOL and alongside the Kenyan authorities to resolve these remaining cases”, said ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger.
“The expertise of the International Commission on Missing Persons in the victim identification process through DNA comparison is of great added value to the INTERPOL IRT and the ongoing Kenyan investigation,” said Secretary General Noble.
In November 2007, ICMP and INTERPOL signed an Agreement on Cooperation. As part of the Agreement, ICMP and INTERPOL recognized the need to foster and co-ordinate international co-operation in the field of locating and identifying missing persons in time of disasters, and where appropriate to coordinate efforts to provide assistance to justice in cases related to war crimes and crimes against humanity. So far, ICMP has been engaged in joint DVI missions in Thailand, the Philippines, Haiti and Congo.
The ICMP is the only specialized international organization of its kind that addresses the issue of missing persons in all of its facets. To date it has assisted governments in locating and identifying over 18,500 missing persons globally.