Final Repatriation of Kosovo Albanians mortal remains

Article posted on junio 30, 2006

The consignment of 110 body bags with mortal remains of Kosovo Albanians is the final one arriving from Belgrade to Kosovo. From the first repatriation from Serbia in November 2002, authorities of Serbia in 19 contingents return to Kosovo 729 identified persons. Some of mortal remains are not identified, and the DNA technology of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will be applied in their cases. The ICMP’s DNA analysis was used in the process of identification of the mortal remains that Serbian authorities repatriated today to Kosovo.
These mortal remains have been exhumed from Batajnica and Perućac mass graves. ICMP anthropologists and archeologists assisted in the excavations in 2001 and 2002. With today’s consignment, all remains exhumed on Serbian proper, related to Kosovo conflict, have been repatriated to Kosovo where additional postmortem autopsy will be conducted by UNMIK before returning the bodies to families for burial.
ICMP continues to work with the Serbian authorities in charge of missing persons issues, both in relation to the 1992-1995 conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and the Kosovo conflict. Regarding the latter, ICMP has continued to stress that some 1,500 mortal remains are still unaccounted for, based on the number of complete reference blood sets which match no bones submitted to date and the number of bone samples which match no blood in the database.
“Given that the issue of missing persons in Kosovo is a politically charged one, the fact there are over 1,500 persons that are unaccounted for in 2006, as the final status talks are underway, is a serious issue,” said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Chief of Staff. She added “It is a serious human rights problem that must be honestly addressed with the families of the victims and with society.”
The work of ICMP contributes to the process of truth, justice and reconciliation. Using science as a human rights tool to resolve cases of disappearances has been successful not only in bringing individual closure to families of the missing, but in accurately documenting crimes against humanity. ICMP hopes that by using DNA technology we are providing empirical evidence of a person’s identity, so that governments can be held to account for atrocities committed.
“Resolving the fate of missing persons and facing the past will lead to better future for the whole society”, said Bomberger.