The remains of 12 people who went missing in connection with the 1992–93 armed conflict in Abkhazia were handed over to their families today, 8 April 2016. This took place within the framework of the Coordination Mechanism on Persons Unaccounted for in Connection with the Events of 1992-93 Armed Conflict and After, which operates under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The twelve individuals were positively identified using a multidisciplinary approach drawing on ICRC forensic expertise. It included a full skeletal analysis, and genetic testing carried out in a specialized DNA laboratory abroad. Georgian officials were in attendance as the remains were handed over to the families.
Since the Coordination Mechanism was first set up in 2010 with the technical and financial support of the ICRC, the remains have been recovered of 162 people who went missing in connection with the 1992–93 conflict in Abkhazia. Of these, 81 (including these last 12) have been identified and returned to their families; the other 81 are at different stages of the identification process.
"This is another important step forward in bringing relief to these families, who have been waiting a long time for answers about what happened to their loved ones who went missing during the conflict," said Lina Milner, ICRC coordinator on issues relating to missing persons and their families. "All those involved must continue working tirelessly to ascertain the fate of the over 2,300 persons who are still reported as missing."
The ICRC chairs the work of the Coordination Mechanism by virtue of its neutral, impartial and independent mandate, and with a view to ensuring that the families get answers about what happened to their loved ones.
For further information, please contact:
Maia Kardava, ICRC Tbilisi, tel: +995 5 99 55 88 18