30 August 2018
Today, we commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared, raising awareness of the plight of the missing and their families worldwide and recommitting to solving the fate of all those who disappeared.
Regrettably, almost twenty years after the end of the 1998-1999 conflict, to date 1,648 names remain on the list of Kosovo missing persons. The extent of pain and suffering for the victims’ families and friends is harrowing.
EULEX has long been providing technical assistance to the Kosovo Institute of Forensic Medicine through its team of forensic experts to locate, identify and return to their families the human remains of the missing. “As EULEX hands over to relevant Kosovo institutions key responsibilities in the rule of law area in line with its new, reconfigured mandate – including in the work of the Institute of Forensic Medicine – it is imperative for the local authorities to show genuine commitment and redouble efforts in solving the fate of the missing”, said EULEX Head of Mission Alexandra Papadopoulou.
EULEX has maintained under its new mandate specialized forensic capabilities. “We stand ready to continue providing such expertise to our Kosovo counterparts as and when needed and requested”, Ms. Papadopoulou said.
Since 2008, EULEX has conducted 609 field operations in order to identify and re-associate human remains, including 153 exhumations. The remains of 440 individuals were identified, 307 of which were missing persons. 506 body remains have been returned to their families. EULEX also facilitated the DNA analysis of 2,261 bone samples.
For more on EULEX’s efforts concerning missing persons, follow these links: The Search for the Missing - Fatime’s Story and EULEX on the National Day of Missing Persons - Kosovo People Need Closure to the Painful Loss of their Loved Ones.