Junio 22, 2007

At least 97,207 dead or missing in Bosnian war -study

Makfax News Agency
21 June 2007

97.207 casualties of war in Bosnia

SARAJEVO, Bosnia, June 21 (Makfax) -- A total of 97.207 persons were killed or disappeared in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Sarajevo-based Research and Documentation Center (IDC) announced Thursday. The Center pointed out that these are the final figures of its study.

Out of the total number of perished people, as many as 57.523 were directly involved in the war and 39.684 were civilians.

In respect to the nationality, most of the casualties were Bosniaks - 64,036, followed by Serbs - 24,905, and Croats - 7,788, while 478 were
of other nationalities.

The data show that nearly half of the total number of casualties
perished during the first year of the war.
RTV B92 News

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Junio 16, 2007

Bosnia: Families and friends bury 80 civilian victims of ethnic cleansing

The Associated Press
June 16, 2007

BRCKO, Bosnia, June 16 (AP) -- Up to 10,000 people attended the funeral Saturday of 80 civilian victims of wartime Serb ethnic cleansing in the northeast Bosnian city of Brcko.

The bodies were among the 277 found last year in a mass grave near Brcko. They were Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats killed in 1992, at the beginning of the war. Forensic experts said skulls showed that many of the people were executed by shots to the head, some shot two or three times.

The remains of those buried Saturday were identified through DNA analysis and returned to their families, who decided to bury them together. The rest of the bodies from the mass grave are still waiting to be identified.

Out of the 80 victims, 77 are Muslim Bosniaks and three are Catholic Bosnian Croats.

Edin Zahirovic, 25, came to bury his grandfather Hajro, who was 63
when he was killed in 1992.

"I was 10 when they killed grandpa. Now after 15 years, at least I have
a place where I can visit him and pray," he said.

Amira Vulin, 41, fled Brcko before the killing begun. She returned after the war and Saturday attended the funeral because some of her friends were among those who were buried. Vulin lost her father, uncle and two cousins. Their bodies have yet to be found.

"My father was killed in front of our house in May 1992. A Serb friend told me after the war that the body was then loaded on a truck and taken somewhere, he doesn't know where. He also told me who killed my father
and those who committed the crime are still living here," she said.

"My heart is empty today, the same way the town is empty for all these years without all these people that are being buried today," she added.

More than 500 Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats from Brcko remain missing since the 1992-95 Bosnian war when Serb forces captured the town and expelled or killed non-Serbs.

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Mayo 24, 2007

New mass grave discovered in eastern Bosnia

HINA Croatian News Agency
24 May 2007

New Mass Grave Discovered

The victims are presumed to be the people from Kasindolska Street in Sarajevo,
who have been missing for as many as 15 years.

SARAJEVO, May 24 (Hina) -- A mass grave was discovered on the Romanija
mountain. So far, about 20 skulls have been found. The grave was discovered
by members of Missing Persons Commission of the Federation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina. The bodies were tossed one over the other and the perpetrators
tried to conceal the grave in a thick pine forest not far from the road
between Mokro and Sokolac.

Missing persons from Kasindolska Street

"By now, 20 skulls have been discovered on the skeletal remains and it
is obvious that the remains of some bodies are being pulled under those
already uncovered. I believe that the number of the discovered bodily remains
will coincide with [that of] the missing persons from Kasindolska Street,"
said Amor Masovic, the Missing Persons Commission president, to the daily
newspaper Dnevni avaz.

The victims in question are those from Kasindolska Street. This was concluded
based on the date on the watch of one of the victims. Their families have been
looking for them for 15 years already.

"A Seiko watch stopped on the 27th day in the month and the day in question
is Wednesday. By checking the dates in 1992, we arrived to the conclusion that
the only Wednesday that was the 27th day in the month was in May. The people
from Kasindolska Street in the Sarajevo district Ilidza were captured on May 14,
1992, and spent a certain period of time in the Kula prison, so it seems likely
that these victims could be from Kasindolska Street," Masovic clarifies.

The skeletal remains are very well preserved, as are the clothes, so the
representatives of the missing persons association will try to give a
preliminary confirmation of this information as soon as today.

An example of genocide

"Kasindolska is an example of the genocide that occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
All the men, Bosniaks and Croats, who were caught in this street, were captured
and killed. It is a fact that the goal here was a complete elimination of an
ethnic group in a very small area. This case involved entire families as well -
fathers and sons, brothers, uncles," Masovic points out.

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Mass grave near Mostar contains Bosniak soldiers


Mass grave near Mostar contains Bosniak soldiers
24 May 2007 | 10:46 | Source: FoNet

Mostar -- DNA analysis confirms the 13 bodies found in mass grave near Mostar
are members of the Bosnian Army.

Bosnia's Missing Persons Commission has said in a statement that items
recovered among the mortal remains of sixteen bodies exhumed last week
confirmed that the grave site contained bodies of Bosnian Army soldiers
killed in the 1990s war.

The DNA analysis has thus far determined the identity of 13 bodies. Results
for the remaining three are expected to come in next week, as the grave is
believed to also contain bodies of murdered civilians.

Croatian Defense Council (HVO) members captured 13 Bosnian Army soldiers on
May 9, 1993 in Mostar and killed them afterwards.

Judging from the found objects, including watches and rings, and also according
to the age of recovered mortal remains, the Commission confirmed that 13 bodies
could highly likely be identified as Bosnian Army members.


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Jordan's Queen Noor pressures Bosnia over missing persons

Agence France-Presse
22 May 2007

SARAJEVO, May 22 (AFP) -- Queen Noor of Jordan on Tuesday urged
greater commitment in the search for thousands of people missing
since Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

At a meeting with Bosnian Prime Minister Nikola Spiric in the town
of Mostar, Queen Noor, a commissioner of the International Commission
on Missing Persons (ICMP), expressed her disappointment over the lack
of progress in making a Missing Persons Institute (MPI) functional,
the ICMP said in a statement.

"Today, almost two years after the signing of the agreement...and
despite the fact that the Directors of MPI have been appointed and
the budget approved, the Institute is still not fully functional",
the statement quoted Queen Noor as saying.

Bosnian authorities agreed with the ICMP nearly two years ago to merge missing persons' commissions of the country's two ethically divided parts into one body, the MPI.

However, they have since failed to agree on the appointment of
generally acceptable candidates to the management bodies of the MPI, which is hoped to speed up exhumation and identification of the missing as well as to de-politicize the search for the mass graves.

Spiric pledged to "undertake all necessary measures to resolve this issue as soon as possible."

Bosnia's 1992-1995 war split the country into two highly autonomous entities -- the Serbs' Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation, handing each entity its own government, parliament and police.

There are still more than 13,000 people missing from the Bosnian war which claimed some 200,000 lives.

The Bosnia-based ICMP was set up in 1996 with the aim of assisting
tens of thousands of families hoping to find out what happened to their relatives who disappeared during the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia.

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Diciembre 7, 2006

Around 180 bodies exhumed from mass grave near Brcko

The Associated Press
6 December 2006
BRCKO, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dec 6 (AP) -- Forensic experts have exhumed the remains of about 180 people from a mass grave in northeastern Bosnia containing the victims of Serb forces' ethnic cleansing campaign, a
forensic expert said Wednesday.

The team worked on the grave for a month and collected 105 complete bodies and 146 body bags containing other human remains, Murat Hurtic, the head of the forensic team said. The total number of dead is around 180 people, he said.

"It's a secondary mass grave that we have found not far from the city
and according to two documents two of the victims had with them, those are all people from Brcko and its suburbs, who were killed either in
the concentration camp Luka or just picked up from home and executed,"
he said. "Some of the skulls had three bullet holes in them," he added.

Secondary mass graves contain bodies originally buried elsewhere, but later moved to a different location in an effort to cover up the crime. The remains are often only partial, as those involved in reburying them often used bulldozers. The remains will be identified through DNA analysis and returned to their families.

More than 500 Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats from Brcko remain missing since the 1992-95 Bosnian war when Serb forces captured the town and expelled or killed non-Serbs.

Negotiators of Bosnia's peace accord from 1995 - the Bosnian, Serbian
and Croatian presidents at the time - couldn't agree who should get
Brcko in the division of the country and left it up to international arbitrators who in 1999 ruled the city should be part of neither the Bosnian Serb republic, or the Bosniak-Croat federation but should be
a neutral district.

Since then Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs are running the town together and the city has become an example for how
all of Bosnia should actually function.

Witnesses of the wartime killing led the Commission for Missing Persons to the mass grave.

"The authorities here have been very cooperative and even volunteers, such as local doctors, joined our team. For the first time we are
working in a city that seems to have faced its past," he said.
Agence France-Presse
25 November 2006

Families launch appeal over missing from Balkans wars

SARAJEVO, Nov 25 (AFP) -- The families of thousands of people who went missing during the 1990s Balkans wars urged the authorities in the region on Saturday to deliver answers about the fate of their missing relatives.

"The government authorities have an obligation to provide answers
about the fate of their missing citizens," the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) said in a statement.

"Family members will continue to exert pressure on the highest-level political leaders in the region to do everything in their power to enable the release of information and to speed up the process of resolving
this important regional human rights issue."

The appeal was launched after a conference that gathered more than
60 representatives of associations representing families of missing
persons and relevant government institutions from Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, UN-administered Serbian province of Kosovo and international organisations.

The participants have met over the past three days in the northeast
Bosnian town of Brcko.

"Associations' representatives believe that resolving the issue of missing persons should be a pre-condition for European integration
of this region," the ICMP said.

The ICMP is a Bosnia-based inter-governmental organisation founded
in 1996.

It is leading the process to identify remains and reveal the fate of some 40,000 people who went missing across the whole of the former Yugoslavia since it was shattered by a series of wars in the early 1990s. The fate
of around half of them is still unknown, according to the ICMP.


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