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Press Release

Message from EULEX Acting Head of Mission Andy Sparkes on the International Day of the Disappeared

30 August 2012

The 30th of August, 2012 marks the International Day of the Disappeared. This day serves to raise awareness of the authorities, the press and general public to the plight of the Missing and their families worldwide. This is a sensitive issue which affects thousands of people in Kosovo and it is of the utmost importance for EULEX.

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.

Since EULEX began working with the Department of Forensic Medicine in December 2008, the remains of 313 victims from the conflict have been returned to their families. These include 238 missing persons which have been found following intensive field work (in over 340 field operations), laboratory analysis (intensive autopsy and identification work, including over 1660 bone samples selected for DNA analysis) and archival reviews (over 5000 case files).

The Department of Forensic Medicine, with the support of EULEX forensic experts, will continue to exercise its mandate to determine the fate of the Missing and assist the judiciary in its investigations, through the provision of forensic expertise.