Archive for febrero, 2008



Sweden Commits funds to ICMP through 2010

lunes, febrero 18th, 2008

Signing of donation agreement between ICMP General Director and Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe Swedish Government announced today that it will provide funds to the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons through the year 2010. The contribution of 15 Million Swedish Kronor (2.3 MUS$) from the Government of Sweden to ICMP will help them to provide assistance in locating, recovering and identifying missing persons for the next few years.
Accompanied by ICMP’s Director General Kathryne Bomberger, H.E. Ambassador Lars-Erik Wingren, the Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, visited ICMP’s main laboratory in Sarajevo where ICMP conducts DNA extraction and genetic profiling from samples of mortal remains and of blood samples from surviving relatives. Following the tour, Ambassador Wingren and Ms. Bomberger signed a donation agreement.

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US Ambassador visits ICMP in Tuzla

mircoles, febrero 13th, 2008

US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Charles L. English visiting ICMP’s Lukavac Re-association CenterDuring his first visit to the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today, the US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Charles L. English said that the work of ICMP is critical to the process of justice and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as other parts of the region affected by the conflicts of the 1990’s.

Accompanied by ICMP Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger, the ambassador visited ICMP’s center where all blood reference samples are collected by ICMP from relatives of the missing and all bone samples received from government authorities are processed. After being bar coded they are sent to ICMP laboratories in Sarajevo and Banja Luka for DNA analysis. Once extracted, the DNA profiles are entered into ICMP’s database and matched. The ambassador also visited the Podrinje Identification Project (PIP), which was specifically created to assist in the identification of persons missing from the 1995 fall of Srebrenica.

“It is my somber privilege to be here to see first hand the important work being done by the International Commission on Missing Persons. I use the term somber, because such a Commission should never have to exist. But the horrors of the 1992-1995 war here have necessitated its existence. I commend the Commission on their outstanding efforts to provide closure to the families of all the victims,” English said following his visit to ICMP’s Identification Coordination Division (ICD) in Tuzla. “For families, the value of finally knowing the fate of their relatives, no matter how painful, is immensely important”.

“Without the initiative and foresight of the US Government, there would be no ICMP today. ICMP is an international commission that was created at the behest of the US Government in 1996 and we are grateful to the United States for the immense financial and political support it has provided to ICMP since the beginning of its work. Without their continued support, as well as the support of other ICMP donor countries, our work would be impossible”, Bomberger said.

ICMP assists governments in the process of locating, recovering and identifying missing persons through the use of forensic archaeology, anthropology and DNA science. ICMP made its first DNA match on November 16, 2001 and till today over 13,000 different individuals were identified, of which over 10,000 are from Bosnia and Herzegovina and over 5,000 from the 1995 fall of Srebrenica. ICMP provides policy assistance to governments in the establishment of appropriate laws and mechanisms to address the missing persons issue and it strengthens the ability of civil society groups and family members of victims to engage in this important humanitarian and human rights issue.

The work of ICMP is supported by the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Switzerland, Greece, Germany, the Holy See, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. The C.S. Mott Foundation provides funding to ICMP for the “Paths to Reconciliation” project.

First Official Visit of MPI Representatives to ICMP facilities

martes, febrero 12th, 2008

ICMP’s expert explains to the MPI representatives the process of combining DNA technology and anthropological analysis to re-associate skeletal remains exhumed from secondary mass graves associated with the fall of SrebrenicaRepresentatives of the Missing Persons Institute for Bosnia and Herzegovina (MPI), including the chair of the Steering Board, Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur and Steering Board members Ivo Jurcevic, Dusan Sehovac and Jadranka Durakovic; MPI Advisory Board members, Munira Subašić, Ahmet Grahić and Zvonimir Kubinek along with Sesenam Cosic, Head of the War Crimes Unit of the Tuzla Cantonal Prosecutors Office, visited the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla on Monday.

The objective of their visit was to have a better understanding of the complicated process of identifying persons missing from the armed conflicts in BiH in 1992-1995.

Accompanied by ICMP’s Government Relations Coordinator, Klaudia Kuljuh, they visited ICMP’s Podrinje Identification Project (PIP), where mortal remains from the 1995 fall of Srebrenica are stored and identified, ICMP’s Identification Coordination Division (ICD), where all blood samples collected by ICMP from relatives of the missing and all bone samples received from government authorities are archived and sent to ICMP labs for testing, and the Lukavac Re-association Center (LKRC) where ICMP’s experts combine DNA technology and anthropological analysis to re-associate skeletal remains exhumed from secondary mass graves associated with the fall of Srebrenica.

“We are grateful to ICMP for the incredible work it has accomplished in providing assistance to BiH. Their work will contribute to the work of the MPI in its first important task, which is to establish a single, central record that would include a list of those who went missing during the conflicts. This database will include the records of the Federation Commission on Missing Persons, the Republika Srpska Office on Missing Persons, as well as relevant materials and documents from ICMP and ICRC. The central list will be subjected to a rigorous verification process that will ensure its accuracy,” stressed Chairwoman of the MPI Steering Board, Jasminka Dzumhur.

“The creation of a unified list of missing persons from the conflicts will not only ensure that governments provide accurate information regarding numbers of missing, but it will also guarantee that all families of missing persons have an equal right to know the fate of their relatives regardless of their ethnic or religious background,” said Ms. Kuljuh.

The commencement of work of the MPI brings the Law on Missing Persons, which was adopted in November 2004, one step closer to implementation. The Law safeguards the right of families to know the fate of a missing loved one and to assert their rights for effective domestic remedies. The Law also stipulates the establishment of the Fund for Support for Missing Persons Families. The Fund will secure financial means for realization of the rights of the relatives of missing persons, including support to their associations, and marking of exhumations and burial sites.

The MPI was inaugurated as a State-level body on 30 August 2005 and has taken over the responsibilities, staff and budgets of the entity bodies formerly charged with these responsibilities. ICMP is the co-founder of the Missing Persons Institute, which has been working in full capacity since 1 January.