16 February 2014: A delegation of seven staff members from the Libyan Ministry for the Affairs of Families of Martyrs and of Missing Persons (MAFMM) successfully completed a two-week training course at ICMP’s facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The delegation consisted of technical staff working on missing persons cases, including, among others, the Head of DNA Lab at MAFMM Technical department, Head of Data entry unit at the MAFMM Technical department and Head of Reference Sample Collection Unit at MAFMM.
The members of the delegation were introduced to procedures employed by ICMP in collection of reference samples from family members of the missing, as well as archiving procedures and sample anonymization through a bar-code tracking process. Furthermore, ICMP’s experts demonstrated its procedures in processing post-mortem samples and its data protection policies. The Libyan delegation also toured forensic facilities where ICMP staff works to assist Bosnian authorities in using DNA to close cases and ICMP’s high throughput, DNA-led human identification system. .
“We are positively surprised by the extreme effectiveness and the structural organization of the identification system at the International Commission on Missing Persons. The neutrality, the speed and impeccable personal data protection that the system provides is especially remarkable and of great interest to our Ministry. The knowledge we’ve acquired will be a great asset in our work”, said Mohamed Ghamudi, Head of DNA Lab at MAFMM Technical department.
“The visit of the Libyan delegation is a part of ICMP’s continuing effort to build the capacity of Libyan institutions and professionals dealing with the issue of missing persons in Libya. ICMP has previously organized similar visits of Libyan professionals to Bosnia and held field training courses in forensic anthropology and archaeology in Libya for technical staff from different ministries working on the issue. We are looking forward to further cooperation with the Libyan Government”, said Muhamed Durakovic, head of ICMP’s Libya Office.
On November 12, 2012, the ICMP and the Libyan Government signed an agreement on cooperation to address missing persons cases from the recent conflicts as well as from the 42-year regime of Muammar Gaddafi. As part of the agreement, ICMP is providing assistance in the creation of a Libyan Identification Center (LIC) as the first, important step in enabling Libya to develop a sustainable process to work on the issue of missing persons.
The ICMP was created at a G-7 summit in 1996 and it is the only specialized international organization that addresses the issue of missing persons in all of its facets. ICMP has offices in the Western Balkans, Iraq, and Libya.