Middle East and North Africa

For more than four decades countries in the Middle East and North Africa have faced a significant missing persons problem as a result of political repression, wars and civil strife. The Lebanese civil conflict, the Iran-Iraq war and the more recent hostilities in Iraq, Syria and Libya have created an upsurge in the number of missing persons. ICMP has been involved in solving cases directly and has helped authorities and civil society organizations to establish mechanisms and networks that can address this challenge in a sustained and effective way.

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Iraq is affected by very high numbers of missing persons. Estimates run from a 250,000 to one million people missing from decades of conflict and human rights abuses. Today there are millions of relatives of the missing in Iraq who struggle with uncertainty surrounding the fate of a loved one. ICMP is working to help Iraq […]

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On 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, which it annexed two days later. After seven months of Iraqi occupation, a US-led coalition evicted the Iraqi forces. During the occupation, Kuwait contends that more than 600 of its citizens went missing, while Iraq, for its part contends that over 1,000 Iraqis disappeared in Kuwait. A so-called […]

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In 2012, according to estimates made by the Government of Libya, up to 10,000 persons were unaccounted for. This included persons missing as a result of the 2011 conflict, as well as those who went missing during Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, including in the 1977 war with Egypt, the 1979 war with Uganda, wars with […]

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Estimates cited by the UN in 2021 indicate that more than 130,000 persons are missing as a result of the current conflict in Syria. In addition, the country has a legacy of missing and disappeared persons cases linked to human rights abuses and other causes that occurred prior to the conflict. Syrians who have fled […]

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