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Bosnia-Herzegovina: New progress on the missing

17-10-2003 News Release 03/130

A high-level working group chaired by the ICRC revealed a new commitment from all sides to provide the families of the missing with answers during its meeting on 14 October. Republika Srpska provided information on 27 cases and Bosnia-Herzegovina on 24.

When this is added to the data on 20 cases furnished by the latter during the group's February session, 71 families so far this year have drawn nearer the truth about what happened to their loved ones.

Eight years after the Dayton Agreement, large numbers of people – some 16,000 according to information collected by the ICRC from close relatives – are still unaccounted for in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
" Most working group members have made the special effort needed to overcome the very human desire for reciprocity,” said Werner Kaspar, head of the ICRC’s Sarajevo delegation and working group chairman. A degree of mutual trust had been established, he said, and there was a new determination to meet commitments.
The group this week also heard an update on DNA testing, while both Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro provided information on the recent exhumation of the remains of Bosnian nationals on their territory.
Representatives of the families voiced their dissatisfaction with the present situation but praised the ICRC for its work and welcomed the progress achieved at this session.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Sanela Bajrambasic, ICRC Sarajevo, tel. ++ 387 33 652 407