17 October 2013
17 October 2013
Today, EULEX forensic experts from the Department of Forensic Medicine (DFM) and Serbian authorities began the assessment of an area suspected of containing a mass grave dating to the time of the Kosovo Conflict. The alleged site is located in the Rudnica quarry in the municipality of Raska, Serbia. The assessment was begun in the presence of the Serbian authorities, the Government Commission for Missing Persons from Kosovo and Serbia, the International Committee of the Red Cross and UNMIK representatives.
Alan Robinson, the Head of the EULEX forensic experts, explained that after extensive coordination with the relevant stake-holders it was decided that the assessment will be undertaken in a series of phases. "Each phase will consist of a location to be excavated. We have particular interest in three places. We have prioritized the most promising location for the first phase. If this proves negative we will then move onto phase two, if the weather allows. Otherwise phase two will be started in the spring of 2014. If there is a need, then we will move on to the final location", said Robinson.
Parts of the Rudnica quarry were first assessed in 2007 and subsequently in 2010 and 2011. However, research on this potential site has continued throughout, leading to the current project. "It is not possible to say how long we may need to work here", Robinson said, "But this first location will be initially explored for about 5 days. If we find human remains, then the operation will be considerably extend".