(Nicosia, 18.12.2014) – At its end-of-year press conference today, the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) noted that 157 missing persons had been identified so far this year, making 2014 the most successful year to date. In contrast, the number of exhumations for 2014 had stagnated at 65 for the second consecutive year. The CMP made an urgent call for anyone with information on possible burial sites to talk to CMP investigators before it was too late for them, and before further developments made the recovery of human remains impossible.
CMP Members expressed their gratitude to the many donors, led by the European Union, that had funded its operations over the past year. At the same time, they noted that, six months ago, they had asked 15 donors for additional funds to cover a 30% increase in operational capacity in order to accelerate the Committee’s work before it was too late. Members regretted that the CMP had only received a small part of this additional budget. As a result, the CMP would not be able to increase its capacity as planned. Only 2 additional investigators and 1 psychologist would be hired.
The CMP Members expressed their profound sympathy for the ordeal of families who had received incomplete human remains. They emphasized that the Committee was doing its best to locate these missing remains as well as those of more than 1000 missing persons across the island who had yet to be found.
Finally, the Members informed that the CMP’s forthcoming excavation list currently comprised 214 sites out of which 34 were defined as military areas while the remainder were located in civilian areas. In total, the CMP had excavated 934 sites over the past 8 years, including 24 military areas in the north.