The European Union will continue their support to International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) ongoing assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) authorities in their work to locate and identify persons who are still missing from the 1990s conflict. Under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, the European Union is providing €3 million to enable the continuation of ICMP work over the next three years.
The new funding will enable ICMP to conduct a policy dialogue with the BiH authorities and families of the missing with the goal of building BiH capacities in DNA testing. ICMP will also continue to assist BiH with forensic expertise, including the recovery of mortal remains from mass and clandestine graves and support in conducting DNA-based identifications.
“The EU’s continuous assistance to the ICMP aims to support their efforts in addressing unresolved fates of missing persons as well as in helping the authorities to fulfill their obligations towards the families of the missing. The families have the right to know the fate and whereabouts of their missing relatives. This is not only our common moral duty but it would also contribute to strengthening the rule of law, peace and stability in the country,” said Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in BiH.
The EU and ICMP will continue assisting the BiH Missing Persons Institute and the Prosecutors’ Office in addressing NN cases and possible misidentifications through additional reference sample collection and technical forensic anthropological assistance in mortuaries, in cooperation with the regional governments.
The ICMP-led efforts have made it possible to account for more than 70 percent of the estimated 40,000 people who were missing at the end of the 1990s conflict in the former Yugoslavia, said the organization.