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Kosovo: ICRC continues to press for more information on missing persons

09-04-2010 News Release 10/57

Pristina/Belgrade (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has today chaired the ninth public session of the Working Group on persons missing in relation to the events in Kosovo of January 1998 to December 2000.

" Much more has to be done to help the families of missing persons still suffering from the anguish of not knowing what has happened to their relatives, " said Lina Milner, the ICRC delegate chairing the Working Group meeting in Pristina. " The main problem is that there's no new information on potential gravesites. The parties need to resolve this fundamental issue as a matter of priority. " According to the Provisional list of the Working group, 1,862 people are still missing in connection with the Kosovo conflict.

The session of the Working Group was attended by representatives of Pristina and Belgrade authorities, members of the international community, family associations of missing persons and the Red Cross organisations. The Group meets under the auspices of the United Nations and is chaired by the ICRC, acting in its capacity as a neutral intermediary.

The ICRC will continue to press both parties to provide more information on the fate of missing persons, to mobilize local and international stakeholders whose support to the process remains crucial, and to search for relevant information in international archives.

" Official delegations from Pristina and Belgrade committed themselves to increase efforts to provide the families with relevant information this year, " said Ms. Milner. " It is important that they live up to that promise. " She added that international humanitarian law gives the families of missing persons the right to know what happened to their loved ones.

  For more information, please contact:
  Idriz Gashi, ICRC Pristina, tel: +377 44 168 848
  Gordana Milenkovic, ICRC Belgrade, tel. ++381 11 228 55 45