The Royal Netherlands Embassy made the first installment last week of a two million Euro contribution to the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) for the year 2006. The Netherlands Embassy has also committed to continued funding for the identification of victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia over the next three years.As in previous years, 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.
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.