More commitment needed to resolve the fate of missing persons
On the occasion of the National Day of Missing Persons, the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLC Kosovo) asks from the Government of Kosovo and other competent institutions for more commitment in tracking and locating the remains as well as in the identification of existing remains.
HLC Kosovo is once again calling for the issue of missing persons to be on the agenda of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina in Brussels. There is an information deficit on the both mass and individual graves’ locations resulting in a major stagnation in the process of finding the graves. Political pressure could bring substantial progress in this direction. There are no reasonable arguments preventing the parties to deal with resolving the fate of the missing persons, for this issue should primarily be viewed from a humanitarian perspective. In addition to this issue, the parties should commit and take the responsibility of addressing the criminal responsibility for the crimes committed during the war. According to the records of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, there are 300 body remains in Prishtina that were found in previous years in various graves. The DNA analysis of these remains does not match the blood samples collected from the family members of missing persons. Experts identify this discrepancy as a result of misidentifications that occurred in the past. HLC Kosovo therefore also urges the responsible authorities to take concrete actions, such as intensifying the cooperation with the war victims’ associations, in order to enable the proper identification of these remains. The identification of these body remains would ease the pain of a considerable number of the victims’ families, who have already lived in uncertainty and distress for seventeen years.