German Donation to Support ICMP DNA Laboratories

Article posted on August 15, 2005

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has received a 150,000 Euro contribution from the Government of Germany towards the work of ICMP DNA laboratories in the former Yugoslavia.The ICMP incorporates the use of DNA as a primary tool in post-conflict identifications; this method requires the collection and profiling of DNA from blood samples donated by family members with missing relatives for matching with DNA extracted from bone samples taken from recovered mortal remains.

“DNA informed identifications are the only way to accurately identify large numbers of persons missing from armed conflicts. This contribution will help the work of ICMP laboratories, supplying them with the chemicals crucial for DNA analysis”, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Chief of Staff when the donation was received. “Through the use of DNA, ICMP has provided accurate identifications and thus hopes to have contributed to a sense of closure for family members and helped the society as a whole”, she added.

ICMP made its first DNA match in November 2001, and since then the organization has made over 8,000 DNA matches of different individuals missing from the conflicts in the regions of the former Yugoslavia, of which approximately 6,000 are of persons missing from Bosnia Herzegovina.

“We hope that this contribution will help to facilitate ICMP’s important mission to provide answers for family members, giving them accurate, politically neutral identifications based on DNA science,” said H.E. Ambassador Arne Freiherr von Kittlitz und Ottendorf.

The Government of Germany has supported the activities of ICMP since 2001. The work of ICMP is also supported by the Governments of the United States of America, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Greece and the Holy See, and by the European Union.