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“We have more than 1640 reasons to continue our work to establish the fate of the missing,” says Head of the EU’s Rule of Law Mission on the National Day of Missing Persons

27 April 2020

27 April 2020

As Kosovo marks today the National Day of Missing Persons, the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) in Kosovo pays tribute to everyone still missing and commits itself to continue working shoulder to shoulder with the Kosovo Institute of Forensic Medicine to establish the fate of over 1640 persons, who are still unaccounted for in Kosovo.

“We have more than 1640 reasons to continue to work together with our local counterparts to shed light on the fate of the missing and provide the needed answers to their families and loved ones, whose lives have changed forever,” said the Head of the European Union Rule of Law Mission , Lars-Gunnar Wigemark.

“Children, partners, parents, relatives and friends of the missing have the right to know what happened to their loved ones,” said Wigemark, adding that, from the beginning of EULEX’s mandate until now, the Mission has conducted 651 field operations to locate missing persons, resulting in the identification of 456 individuals, including 311 missing persons.

Stressing the importance of DNA in the successful identification of missing persons, the Head of EULEX asked all missing persons’ relatives to provide blood samples for DNA analysis. “This will facilitate the identification process,” Wigemark said, adding that EULEX will also assist the Kosovo authorities in addressing the issue of around 300 body remains in the Pristina morgue.

Tonight, EULEX will turn off the lights at its headquarters at 20:00 in support of an initiative by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights - Kosovo, Missing Persons Resource Center, Integra, Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo and ForumZFD -Kosovo Program to mark the National Day of Missing Persons under the slogan “In the darkness of the missing people - Turn off the lights for two minutes”.

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