Yearly Archives: 2003

Missing Persons Institute

The first Working Group meeting to draft the Protocol for the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) took place yesterday in Sarajevo at the Joint Institutions Building. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) welcomes this important beginning towards implementation of the MPI on the level of the State.The objective of the MPI is to provide BiH with a long-lasting mechanism to address the issue of persons missing from the conflicts in BiH, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin.

The MPI was originally founded by ICMP in August 2000. On 4th June 2003, the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) members of the Presidency agreed unanimously on a decision for BiH to become a co-founder of the MPI, along with ICMP and asked for the Council of Ministers to establish a Working Group to draft the Protocol.

Currently the process of recovery and identification of mortal remains from the conflicts in BiH is…

ICMP and UNMIK Sign MOU on Missing Persons

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Pristina on Wednesday, 26 November 2003. Representatives of family associations of missing persons from the conflict, as well high-level Kosovo government officials, including President Ibrahim Rugova and Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi, and members of the Coordination Center for Kosovo, are expected to attend the ceremony. Deputy SRSG, Jean Christian Cady, will sign on behalf of UNMIK and Gordon Bacon, Chief of Staff will sign for ICMP.In an effort to help Kosovo with its missing persons issue, ICMP began its operations in Kosovo in June 1999 and completed an agreement with the Coordination Center for Kosovo (CCK) in October 2001. The new MoU will reinforce procedures between ICMP and UNMIKregarding a DNA- led identification process, with the aim of better assisting families in their search for information on…

Missing Persons Issues in FYROM/Macedonia

Gordon Bacon, the Chief of Staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) made a review of progress in the country towards the determination of the fate and whereabouts of all persons searched for as a result of the 2001 crisis. Mr. Bacon noted that despite assurances made by the Government, minimal visible progress has been made to date.Notably absent is any implementation of an ICMP initiative presented to the Government a year ago to establish a national process to determine the fate and whereabouts of the 20 plus missing persons. ICMP’s initiative provides for the creation of a neutral and independent coordination body that would report directly to the Prime Minister and that would include persons representing both major ethnic communities in FYROM/Macedonia.

In June the Parliament approved the creation of a Government/Parliamentary Commission, however, this commission was never implemented. In line with ICMP’s initial proposal, in August…

Second Anniversary of the First In-Country DNA Assisted Identification

Today marks the second anniversary of the first DNA- assisted identification in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was made on 16th November 2001 by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). ICMP is the first organization to successfully apply a population-based, DNA-led identification process in a post-conflict environment. The use of DNA assisted identifications not only increases the speed and accuracy of identifications, but also allows identifications to be made for post-conflict cases where this may not have otherwise been possible.

It is estimated that following the conflicts in the regions of former Yugoslavia, a total of approximately 40,000 persons were missing, 30,000 of them as a consequence of the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and that of that number approximately 8,000 were men and boys missing from the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995. Since 1996, numerous mass graves have been discovered and exhumed in BiH, indicating that the…

ICMP has made 5,000th DNA Match Report

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) announces today that it has made its 5,000th DNA report since making the first in-country match almost two years ago in Tuzla on 16th November 2001. Also, during September new daily, weekly and monthly records were achieved when 42 reports were made in one day, 134 in one week and 445 during the whole month.In just over three years ICMP teams across the region have collected 50,000 blood samples from the relatives of missing persons. Through collecting these samples ICMP now has the names of over 22,300 missing individuals. However, with a case load of 40,000 missing persons across the region, ICMP needs to collect approximately 100,000 blood samples.

Gordon Bacon, ICMP’s Chief of Staff said: ” There is still a long way to go, but hopefully when family members who have not yet given blood samples hear of these figures it may…

Large Group of Ambassadors Visit Exhumation Site

The Embassy of the Netherlands and the International Commission on Missing Persons jointly organised a visit to the ongoing exhumation at Seljani near Rogatica.

In addition to the Netherlands, group included ambassadors and other diplomatic staff from the embassies of Austria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America. At the site they were given presentations by Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Chief of Staff and Dr. Mark Skinner, ICMP Director of Forensic Sciences as well as Amor Masovic, co-chairman of the Federation Commission, the Commission member, Sejo Koso and the Cantonal Prosecutor who is in charge of the exhumation.The site the diplomats visited may contain the remains of as many as 22 missing persons and dates from July 1992. Over the next few weeks, the remains will be taken to ICMP facilities, where an anthropological examination will be conducted and samples…

ICMP Recives Further Support From The Holy See

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that the Holy See has generously donated a further 10,000 KM towards its work. Having contributed to ICMP in the past, this new funding shows the importance that is placed by the Vatican on the work of the ICMP mission.Gordon Bacon, Chief of Mission for ICMP, said:
“We would like to thank the Holy See for their continued support of our work. Every contribution means more families have the chance of closure, and of giving their loved ones a dignified resting place. Most of our donors from 2002 have continued their support in 2003, and we hope that many other countries who have not yet contributed to ICMP’s work will be able to do so in the near future.”

ICMP works across the Balkan region with governments, local and regional organizations, the family associations, and with the latest scientific technology…

Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Crni Vrh and ICMP Facilities in Tuzla

A top level delegation from Norway will visit the exhumation site at Crni Vrh and International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) facilities in Tuzla today. The delegation will be led by Mr. Kim Traavik, the Norwegian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and will include Mr. Henrik Ofsad, the Norwegian Ambassador to BiH, Mr Jon Hansen who is Counselor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy to BiH, Mr. Jan Braathu, Deputy Director General, Western Balkans Section (WBS), MFA and Mr. Jo Sletbak, Assistant Director General, WBS MFA. Ms. Cathrine Andersen, Advisor, MFA.Norway is already an ICMP donor and has pledged continuing support for ICMP’s humanitarian work, which is to work with the families of the missing to find and identify their loved ones.

There are approximately 40 000 people missing in the region of former Yugoslavia, up to 30,000 of them in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When the work at Crni Vrh is…

Honoring the International Day of the Disappeared –30 August 2003

On the occasion of 30 August – the International Day of the Disappeared, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) calls for urgent attention to be paid to resolving the problem of missing persons in the former Yugoslavia. The anguish of not knowing the fate of a missing loved one constitutes a daily torture for these thousands of mothers, sisters, and wives, as well as other relatives. Finally knowing the truth about the fate of a missing loved one and being able to give them a dignified funeral is critical to the overall peace building and reconciliation process for these individuals and their communities.The problem of disappearances is a global problem, with cases in more than 30 countries around the world. ICMP also offers its expression of solidarity to members of the Latin American non-governmental organization FEDEFAM (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos- Desaparecidos), the Asian Federation…

ICMP Forensic Experts are Participates in this Year’s Largest Gathering of World-Renowned DNA Experts

International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is going to be present at the Third European American School in Forensic Genetics and Mayo Clinic Course in Advanced Molecular and Cellular Medicine. The Course will take place in Zagreb, Croatia between the 1st and 5th September 2003.Our scientists will be in position to discuss their work with the most respected experts all over the world in the fields of Forensic Genetics. Possibility to take part in such a high profiled gathering was given to us as recognition of our developed scientific researching as well as our humanitarian role in the region. We cooperate closely with all local Governments and institutions that are working in process of identification of missing persons.

Gordon Bacon, Chief of Staff of ICMP, stated: ” ICMP has been present in the region for seven years. Unfortunately there are more than 40 000 people missing after conflicts that happened…