(Nicosia, 11 July 2020) – In view of reports that appeared in the media this week, the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) would like to clarify its operations. The Committee’s bicommunal excavations resumed on 2 July 2020 after the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions on crossing points in Cyprus. CMP also confirms that its Anthropological Laboratory resumed its analyses and identification of missing persons on 22 June 2020.
CMP’s archaeological teams are currently excavating seven burial sites of which six are located in the north and one in the south of the island. On 8 July, the three CMP Members conducted a visit to two excavation sites in the suburbs of Famagusta.
CMP’s bicommunal scientists employed at the CMP Anthropological Laboratory are currently analyzing the remains of 162 individuals by adhering to strict international scientific standards. The remains of 74 individuals have been assessed as complex as they are either incomplete or fragmented and necessitate more advanced and specialised genetic analyses. In some cases, the initial DNA analysis does not provide successful results and new analysis is necessary that is time consuming. The identification of these complex cases may take several years in some instances as the analysis of samples by using specialised DNA tests is only possible when progress in DNA technology occurs. CMP’s scientists are also trying to overcome challenges such as the lack of informative family reference samples to establish the identification of a missing person. In addition, some of the remains that CMP recovers happen to be archaeological and others are not relevant to CMP’s mandate.
Greek Cypriot Member’s Office: +357 22400142
Turkish Cypriot Member’s Office: +90 3922281586
Third Member’s Office: +357 22614362