UN mission in Kosovo signs agreement on DNA testing for missing persons

25 July 2001

The top United Nations official in Kosovo today signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Committee for the Missing Persons (ICMP) which will pave the way for DNA testing to match relatives of the missing with unidentified remains.

Hans Haekkerup, head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), said the ICMP has the technical means and money to start the process.

Referring to recent demonstrations by Serbs seeking information about missing persons, the UNMIK chief also stressed that the international community is committed to finding the truth about the missing.

Mr. Haekkerup emphasized that UNMIK supported the efforts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is currently investigating the atrocities committed in Kosovo. At the same time, he pointed out that the Albanians and the Serbs who know about the atrocities must provide information to the Tribunal.

Meanwhile, the border between Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia remained closed, with a UN agency reporting refugee flows in both directions.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 200 people returned to Skopje from Kosovo on Tuesday and more than 130 left the FYR of Macedonia for Kosovo. The agency has urged all parties to avoid confrontation in a conflict that has already displaced tens of thousands of people.

 

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