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Eastern Europe: clarifying fate of Georgians, Ossetians and Russians missing in connection with 2008 hostilities

11-05-2011 News Release 11/115

Geneva (ICRC) – A fourth meeting of the coordination mechanism seeking to account for people who went missing during and after the August 2008 hostilities between Georgian and Russian forces took place today under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Georgian, South Ossetian and Russian participants met in the village of Dvani, in Georgia near the administrative boundary line, to discuss concrete and coordinated steps that need to be taken to provide the families of missing persons with relevant information on their loved ones.

"The five-hour meeting took place in a positive and constructive atmosphere. The participants reiterated their commitment to the process," said Céline Matter-Butikofer, the ICRC's deputy head of operations for Eastern Europe. "Some progress was recently achieved within the framework of the mechanism when the remains of a person who went missing in connection with the August 2008 hostilities were exhumed, analysed, identified and handed over to the family. We hope that more cases will soon be resolved so that the families will finally know what happened to their loved ones."

Three working meetings had previously been held since the mechanism was set up in February 2010. The participants have demonstrated a firm commitment to discovering what became of those who have been missing since the August 2008 hostilities.

For further information, please contact:
Maia Kardava, ICRC Tbilisi, tel: +995 91 600 685
Marina Tedeti, ICRC Tskhinvali/Tskhinval, tel: +7 928 230 0583
Monique Nanchen, ICRC Moscow, tel: +7 495 626 5426
Vassily Fadeev, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 536 9248