CMP Continues in 2010 its Efforts to Bring Closure to the Families of the Missing Persons

Release Date: Jan 14, 2010


(Nicosia, 14 January 2010) – The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) will intensify its work in 2010 with eight exhumation teams – six in the northern and two in the southern part of Cyprus.

Since inception of its exhumation project in August 2006, the CMP has retrieved skeletal elements which relate to more than  600 persons and identified and returned to their families remains of 196 missing individuals (145 missing Greek Cypriots and 51 missing Turkish Cypriots). The exhumation and identification work of the CMP is guided by scrupulous scientific process and precise rules and is based on the internationally accepted standards and practices. Valuable advice is given by the Argentinean experts of EAAF and the ICRC.

The investigations of the CMP are conducted in the sole interest of the families whose loved ones are missing (article V.1 of its Rules of Procedures) and whose pain and sensitivities must be respected by all. Its mandate is purely humanitarian:  to establish the fate of missing persons. The Committee does not attempt to establish the cause of death or attribute responsibility for the death of missing persons (article 11 of its Terms of Reference).

To succeed in its mission CMP needs the help of all concerned and especially those who possess relevant information or are in a position to secure it. The CMP appeals to anyone who has any information on possible burial sites to come forward. The CMP guaranties strict confidentiality of the information and absolute protection of identity. The CMP wants to thank those who have provided information so far.

Today, the families of over 1800 missing Cypriots from both communities are still waiting to learn the fate of their loved ones. Their pain is pain of all Cypriots, their tragedy is tragedy of the entire Cyprus, and all involved must join together to heal the wounds of the past, to do everything possible to bring closure to the families of the missing persons.

The CMP would like to thank all donor countries and especially the European Union and express the hope that this support will continue in the future so that, together with the contributions originating from Cyprus, the work will continue without interruptions or delays.

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