EULEX Press Releases

EULEX Press Releases

EULEX and the Ministry of Justice consolidate the ongoing co-operation between EULEX and IFM in the work on missing persons through two Technical Arrangements

03 July 2024

The Head of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), Giovanni Pietro Barbano, and the Kosovo Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, today signed two Technical Arrangements aimed at consolidating the ongoing excellent co-operation between EULEX and the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IFM), for an increased effectiveness of the work on missing persons.

The ‘Technical Arrangement between EULEX and IFM on Conducting Joint Casework’ covers the essential provision of assistance by EULEX’s Forensic Medicine Team to IFM in all technical aspects of the search, exhumation and identification of missing persons related to the Kosovo conflict.

The ‘Technical Arrangement on the installation of containerised offices at the IFM on a medium-term basis’ concerns the temporary installation of containerised offices by EULEX at the IFM, aims at ensuring continuity for the close working relationship between EULEX Forensic Medicine Team and IFM personnel until the completion of the IFM building’s repair works, after the building was damaged by fire. The containerized offices are expected to be put in place in the coming months.

The Technical Arrangements signed today help to increase the IFM’s capacity in conducting the work on missing persons, as foreseen by the recently adopted ‘Strategy on Transitional Justice 2024-2034’.

Since the beginning of its mandate to date, EULEX has been working relentlessly to locate and return the remains of missing persons to their families so that they can be buried with respect and dignity. EULEX experts offer expertise and advice in the identification of clandestine or unmarked graves and the exhumation and identification of victims from the Kosovo war and its aftermath. The Mission also supports the IFM in reviewing the unidentified remains at the Pristina morgue.

In particular, since 2009, EULEX experts have actively participated in 806 field operations to locate missing persons, including 210 exhumations. The remains of 507 individuals have been identified, including 348 missing persons.

EULEX remains committed to supporting its counterparts at the IFM and other relevant Kosovo institutions to shed light on the fate of missing persons, regardless of the circumstances of their disappearance, their ethnic, religious or national origin or any other characteristics. The Mission’s work is to help Kosovo institutions provide the much-needed answers to the missing persons’ families and loved ones, to realize their right to know the truth.