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Press Release

Statement of Head of EULEX, Xavier de Marnhac, on the occasion of the Kosovo Day of the Missing

27 April 2012

“There are still 1781 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.

Thirteen years after these tragic events took so many lives EULEX and the DFM continue searching and finding their remains. To date almost 300 human remains have been returned to families. This is the result of intensive research and three field seasons, accounting for over 310 field operations. Thousands of documents have been reviewed and more than 1300 bone samples have been sent for DNA analysis.

This year, more than 30 potential sites will be assessed. Additionally, our local counterparts will begin their own investigation of possible mis-identification cases as well their own field operations, assisted by EULEX Forensic Experts.

EULEX doctors continue to mentor and monitor their local counterparts in structuring 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.

Many challenges remain ahead, however EULEX will continue to strongly support the Department of Forensic Medicine in its efforts to determine the fate of those who are still missing.

A 30 minutes documentary produced by EULEX about the Department of Forensic Medicine (DFM) and its work on the field is broadcast tonight on RTK.”