The Netherlands Continues Support for Identification of War Victims in BiH

Article posted on April 15, 2005

The Royal Netherlands Embassy made a contribution of one million Euros yesterday to support the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the identification of victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The Netherlands Embassy has requested that the funding be used to assist in the identification of victims of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in particular of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica.Identification of the estimated 8,000 Srebrenica victims is complicated by the fact that many of the mass graves in which they were buried were dug up and the bodies moved, sometimes more than once, in efforts by the perpetrators to hide evidence of the killings. As a consequence, victims’ remains have been commingled in secondary mass graves; in some cases, the remains of a single victim are found in two or more grave sites.

“As we approach the tenth anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica, it is especially important that we assist ICMP in identifying as many victims as possible as quickly as possible,” said the Netherlands’ Ambassador in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rob Bosscher, when the donation was announced. “In clarifying the fate of the missing,” he added, “we can help the society as a whole to resolve some of the extremely painful issues of the past and ultimately look towards the future.”

The Netherlands has long been a valued supporter of ICMP’s work, providing the second largest contributions to the organization after the United States. Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Willem Kok has been an ICMP Commissioner since June 2002.