Yearly Archives: 2009

ICMP calls on governments to address the issue of missing persons on International Human Rights Day

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) calls on governments worldwide to work for the resolution of cases of missing and disappeared persons.

“Today it is vital to remember and commemorate those persons who are missing from armed conflict, crimes against humanity and other violations of human rights from existence around the world.  We must remember those persons who have been effectively deleted because they belonged to the wrong nationality, religion, race, class, gender or political group,” said ICMP’s Director-General, Ms.Kathryne Bomberger. 

“Many countries around the world are confronted with large numbers of missing persons and cases of enforced disappearances. Resolving these cases is important to the implementation of the rule of law and to the establishment of peace and justice, as well as to ending the suffering experienced by relatives of the missing who live in a state of uncertainty concerning the…

Republika Srpska Crime Police Directorate visits ICMP

Republika Srpska Crime Police Directorate visits ICMP

A delegation of senior officials from Republika Srpska’s Crime Police Directorate visited the forensic facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla and its international headquarters and DNA laboratory in Sarajevo in order to enhance their cooperation with ICMP.

ICMP has collected almost 90,000 blood samples from families in the region with missing relatives to conduct DNA identity testing of recovered mortal remains from clandestine graves; however, there are still family members in Republika Srpska samples that need to be located, who may want to provide blood.  The RS Interior Ministry will enhance its cooperation with ICMP to locate the remaining family members in the hope of obtaining these samples.

High-level delegation of War Crimes investigative authorities from Serbia visit ICMP

osce-and-serbian-delegation-visit-0061A delegation of officials from Serbia’s war crimes investigative authorities visited the forensic facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla and its international headquarters in Sarajevo on a fact-finding and familiarization visit.

The officials from the Ministry of the Interior and the War Crimes Chamber of the Belgrade District Court of the Republic of Serbia visited ICMP’s three facilities in Tuzla, the Podrinje Identification Project, the Lukavac Reassociation Centre and the Identification Coordination Division (ICD). ICMP constructed the first two projects specifically to assist in the identification of victims of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica, while ICD exists as ICMP’s worldwide centre for the processing of information about missing persons.

The familiarization visit, which was coordinated, arranged and financially assisted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Serbia enabled…

The Colombian Congress Adopts the Law on Homage to Disappeared Persons and Other Measures for their Search and Identification

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) welcomes the adoption of the Law on Homage to Disappeared Persons and Other Measures for their Search and Identification, which was adopted yesterday by the Colombian Congress.

“This law is an important step forward in the search and identification process and the development of appropriate expressions of commemoration to the missing in Colombia,” said Ms. Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP’s Director-General. “The law strengthens the process of genetic identification, and provides for protection of a victims’ genetic information.  It also includes measures for protecting the integrity of unidentified remains and for the protection of places of clandestine burial.”

The new law promotes specific victims’ rights, including the right to observe exhumations and provides financial assistance for victims’ participation at handover and burial ceremonies. The law also establishes official dates for commemoration and other measures which allow the state and civil society to pay tribute to…

Deputy Speaker of the House of Peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina visits ICMP

Head of ICMP DNA Laboratories Division Rene Huel in the presence of ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger explains Mrs Dušanka Majkić the process of taking blood sample for DNA analysis.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Dusanka Majkic, visited the international headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo.

The Deputy Speaker met with ICMP’s Director-General, Ms. Kathryne Bomberger, and discussed areas of mutual interest and concern regarding the issue of missing persons, including the process of locating, recovering and identifying missing persons, the rights of families of the missing and the Missing Persons…

Government Commissions on Missing Persons from Croatia and Serbia meet for the first time with Family Associations of missing persons from the Croatia conflicts of the 1990s

Representatives of the Government Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons of the Republic of Croatia, the Government Commission on Missing Persons of the Republic of Serbia, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and representatives of Family Associations of Missing Persons from Croatia and Serbia met this week in Osijek, Republic of Croatia.

This meeting constitutes the  first time that Government Commissions from both Serbia and Croatia have met with Family Associations of relatives of victims of the Croatia conflicts and was an opportunity for both governments to promote transparency and accountability in dealing with the complex regional issue of missing persons. The meeting enabled relatives of the missing from the conflicts  to be briefed and updated on the results, progress and obstacles in the processes of locating, recovering and identifying mortal remains of persons missing from the conflicts on the territory of Croatia. The meeting was organized in…

Law students from Banja Luka, Mostar and Sarajevo visit ICMP in Tuzla

Law students in ICMPs facility PIP

Thirty students from the Law Faculties of the Universities of Mostar, Banja Luka and Sarajevo visited the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today.

The delegation, which saw law students from each of Bosnia’s main universities joined together in one party, visited ICMP’s three forensic facilities in Tuzla; the Podrinje Identification Project, the Lukavac Re-association Centre and the Identification Coordination Division (ICD).  ICMP constructed the first two projects specifically to assist in the identification of victims of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica, while ICD exists as ICMP’s worldwide centre for the processing of information about missing persons. The students also received briefings on the work of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia-Herzegovina (MPI), as well as a…

British Foreign Secretary praises ICMP’s support for international and regional justice

British Foreign Minister David Miliband briefed about the work in ICMP labs by ICMP's Rene Huel.Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, The Right Honourable David Miliband MP, visited the international headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) today as part of a visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, praising the organisation’s support to international and regional justice.

Accompanied by ICMP’s Director-General Ms. Kathryne Bomberger and the British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Mr. Michael Tatham, the Secretary of State received briefings on ICMP’s assistance to governments worldwide, and toured the organisations’ main laboratory where ICMP performs DNA extraction and genetic profiling of samples from mortal remains and of blood samples from surviving relatives.

“ICMP’s mandate…

Spain supports ICMP and efforts to search for Missing Persons

The Spanish Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, His Excellency Senor Alejandro Enrique Alvargonzalez San Martin, visited the forensic facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla. The Ambassador was accompanied by a delegation from The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID).

He and the delegation then travelled to the Potocari Memorial Centre outside Srebrenica and then to the excavation of a mass grave located outside the town of Sokolac in eastern Bosnia.

The Spanish Government, via AECID, have been strong supporters of ICMP since 2008, donating 350,000 Euros for the activities of its Forensic Sciences Division, focusing on ICMP’s technical assistance to the excavation process and to the examination of mortal remains to assist identification. AECID has also provided assistance worth some 50,000 Euros to ICMP’s assistance program in Colombia.

“Seeing at first hand the different operations of ICMP in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as the profoundly moving and humbling…

ICMP signs major funding agreements with the German government

Bomberger and Schmidt during the donation agreement signing in Sarajevo HQ

The German Government has provided 500,000 Euros to the International Commission on Missing Persons demonstrating its continued commitment to the process of recovery and identification of persons missing in the Western Balkans. In a separate grant agreement the German Government will, for the first time, support ICMP’s programs in Iraq with a contribution of some 700,000 Euros for the period to the end of 2010.  This brings to almost 3,150,000 EUR the total amount of funding committed by the German government to ICMP.

The German Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Joachim Schmidt, signed both funding agreements on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany with ICMP’s Director-General Ms. Kathryne Bomberger at…