On 15 September, a visibility event to showcase the EU support for forensic medicine services in Kosovo was organized in Pristina.
This field of expertise has been one of the priorities of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) for the past 13 years, with a particular focus on one of the most devastating legacies of the Kosovo war and its aftermath, which is the missing persons and the right of family members to know the fate of their loved ones.
During this event, the Head of Mission, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, reiterated that EULEX forensic experts will continue to work together with their local counterparts at the Institute of Forensic Medicine to find potential clandestine graves and identify victims related to the Kosovo war and its aftermath.
Since 2008, EULEX has conducted over 700 field operations and has identified 332 missing persons. Since last year, EULEX experts are also working on the review of the remains at the Pristina mortuary, a process which is coordinated by a working group led by the IFM and based on the working group’s Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2023.
“As EULEX our job is not done, we have 1621 reasons to keep going,” said Wigemark, adding that the Mission is also supporting the Working Group tasked with the drafting of the Protocol for Sexual Violence Offences. Once adopted, this protocol will standardize the services that a victim of sexual violence should receive and will facilitate the coordination of all service providers.
To date, the European Union has invested some 3 million Euros in forensic medicine services in Kosovo, which are fundamental for a functioning judiciary and a strong rule of law system, both of which are a prerequisite for European integration.