Germany Continues to Support ICMP

Article posted on November 19, 2007

Director General Kathryne Bomberger and German Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Michael Schmunk at press conferenceThe International Commission on Missing Persons has received a contribution of 300,000 Euros from the German Government for 2007. With this important contribution Germany has, since 2001, provided a total of 1,357,000 Euros to ICMP to address the issue of persons missing from the armed conflicts of the 1990’s in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“To regain trust between individuals and communities after conflict it is necessary to go through the pain of establishing and confronting the truth of what actually happened. ICMP’s work is a powerful and scientifically accurate contribution to truth-seeking and therefore to the process of reconciliation,” said H.E. Ambassador Schmunk, Germany’s ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Germany is a strong advocate of ICMP’s work both within the region and in the European Union and we are extremely grateful for this generous donation,” stated Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of the ICMP. “The funds from the German Government will really help ICMP assist Bosnia and Herzegovina with the process of identifying persons missing from the conflicts.”

Of the 30,000 persons missing following the cessation of conflicts there are still about 13,500 persons unaccounted for today. This fact constitutes one of the biggest human rights issues facing BiH today. Since November 2001, ICMP has led the way in using DNA as a first step in the process of identification. ICMP has information from 85.323 relatives of 28.378 missing people and 24.011 bone samples taken from mass graves throughout the former Yugoslavia. By matching DNA from the relatives’ blood with DNA from victims ICMP has been able to identify 12.885 missing individuals from the region.

German Ambassador in Sarajevo Lab (in the middle)In addition to its technical support, ICMP is the co-founder of the Missing Persons Institute of BiH. ICMP also contributes to transitional justice activities, provides legislative support and helps in the development of networks of civil society organizations which advocate for truth, justice, and for the rights of family members of missing persons.

The work of ICMP is also supported by the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, the Holy See, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, 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.