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NEWS

Local forensic expertise built up by EULEX

11 January 2012

EULEX forensic experts have been making real progress in their mentoring and monitoring of local Ministry of Justice/Department of Forensic Medicine staff. Much of the work has centred around the development of a local exhumations team and a separate dedicated team working on the issue of misidentification and also public outreach.

EULEX Forensic Archaeologist (left) mentoring members of the local exhumations team in Gjakovë/Djakovica (July, 2011)

The local exhumations team has been present and actively engaged in more than thirty field operations. The mentoring they have received from EULEX represents a crucial first step towards creating the self-sustainability which the missing persons operation requires once EULEX leaving Kosovo.

“Despite many challenges, the hard work of our EULEX forensic experts and our counterparts at the Ministry of Justice is leading to significant improvements in the quality of the forensic service that the DFM provides to the judiciary”

Alan Robinson, Co-Head of DFM
Alan Robinson, Co-Head of DFM is very satisfied with the progress of the local exhumations team and the outreach unit. “Their work will be of great importance to the issue of missing persons in the near future”, he says.

The issue of possible misidentifications has been a top priority at DFM. Families have been visited and requested to give additional information as well as blood samples for DNA analysis.

“Despite many challenges, the hard work of our EULEX forensic experts and our counterparts at the Ministry of Justice is leading to significant improvements in the quality of the forensic service that the DFM provides to the judiciary”, said Alan Robinson.

Additionally, the EULEX forensic experts have monitored, mentored and advised on two-hundred and ninety-five autopsies and sixty-five forensic clinical examinations in 2011 alone. These efforts have yielded an increase in the quality and capacity of the local DFM doctors. Furthermore, intensive work has been conducted on strategic planning for the DFM in an effort to develop sustainability, accountability and a more efficient service.

“Much remains to be done at DFM. EULEX and our local counterparts will continue to modernise and strengthen this important rule of law institution. I am confident that we will accomplish significant achievements in 2012”.