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In search of the Missing

The EULEX documentary “In search of the Missing” broadcast on RTK,
19th of February.

20 February, 2012

The issue of the Missing remains a very sensitive, emotional and important subject. There remain many unsolved cases even now, thirteen years after the war. We still do not know the whereabouts of some 1790 people from all the communities of Kosovo. It is, therefore, a priority for the Ministry of Justice, and EULEX, through the Department of Forensic Medicine, to pursue their efforts in trying to find and return the remains of loved ones to their families, and so help the process of reconciliation.

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“I am happy to introduce this thirty-minute documentary at the occasion of the release of the Department of Forensic Medicine’s Annual Report. It explains the work of this Department and documents the difficulties its staff encounter in their daily work, but also their many achievements. It shows people bringing their heart and life-long experience into their work to contribute to the issue of the Missing persons in Kosovo. One of the most important themes in the documentary is how EULEX staff are passing on their skills and knowledge to their local counterparts in order to build local capabilities into the long term. This film also hopes to counter criticism that the number of missing persons has not been reduced and that things are not being done in this area” says Francoise LAMBERT, Deputy Head of EULEX Press & public Information. “

Since its implementation in 2008, the DFM has effectively and concretely contributed to establishing the basis of a professional forensic research centre and has been instrumental in solving missing persons cases. The documentary focuses on the various professions involved in the process of solving missing persons cases - forensic archaeologists and anthropologists, civil society and outreach assistants, exhumation coordinators - the list is long. It also focuses on the monitoring, mentoring and advising efforts of EULEX experts, in order to train local experts so they able to pursue the task themselves. Together with EULEX, the Ministry of Justice has established a Kosovan DFM exhumations team, which has been trained in forensic archaeology. This is very important, since in the near future, this team will be responsible for much of the work in this area.