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Press Release

Statement of the Acting Head of Mission, Mr. Andy Sparks, at the occasion of the Kosovo Day of the Missing on 27th of April

26 April 2011

There are still around 1800 persons missing from the Kosovo conflict. This is why EULEX assists the Department of Forensic Medicine (DFM) of the Kosovo Ministry of Justice in its intensive efforts to determine the fate of the Missing. Additionally, EULEX/DFM coordinates intensively with family associations, individual families and several other stakeholders. In pursuit of this work, EULEX is also in touch with the Serbian authorities.
10 years after these tragic events took so many people away, EULEX and the DFM continue finding their remains. Since EULEX began working with the Ministry of Justice, so far over 220 human remains have been recovered, identified and returned to families. This is the result of intensive research and two field seasons, accounting for over 260 field operations. Thousands of documents have been reviewed and more than 1300 bone samples sent for DNA analysis.
This year we have begun training DFM units in exhumations and the investigation of mis-identification cases. Additionally EULEX doctors continue to mentor and monitor local forensic doctors in developing a modern forensic medicine department. All this work is been done with the purpose of developing local capacity in a sustainable manner, so that the MoJ can continue this work in the future in a highly professional way.
In the meantime EULEX will continue to support the Department of Forensic Medicine in its efforts to determine the fate of those who are still missing.