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Bosnia and Herzegovina: ICRC launches public campaign to trace the missing

12-06-1996 News Release 96/23

Today the ICRC launched a public campaign to gather information on individuals reported missing during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to provide their families with definite answers as to their whereabouts.

The first issue of a publication containing data collected from the families of 11,000 missing persons, such as personal details and the date and place where they were last seen, is now available at all Red Cross offices in the former Yugoslavia and at the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of countries which have received refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The same information can also be accessed on the ICRC public server on the Web at www.helpcicr.org/familylinks . The ICRC expects this initiative to generate a major response from the public.

Leaflets and posters informing the population about this new publication have been widely distributed through National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and radio and television spots have been broadcast on local networks in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the ICRC it is crucial that families now be told what has become of their missing relatives.

" We hope that this large-scale campaign among the general public will help speed up the process " , said Beat Schweizer, ICRC head of delegation in Sarajevo. " Distressed families come to our offices every day, but without active support from the population and the authorities concerned we cannot give them the information they need " .