International Day of the Disappeared

Release Date: Aug 30, 2011


(Nicosia, 30 August 2011) – The 30th of August is the International Day of the Disappeared. The Missing Persons’ is not only a humanitarian problem or a political issue. It is first and foremost the human tragedy, the problem of profound pain. The pain that does not differentiate, that has no nationality, no religion, has no race or age. Slicing through individual human hearts leaves deep bleeding wounds in society at large. The efforts to find the fate of the missing, in order to heal these wounds, can succeed only through a dialogue between the parties. The bi-communal scientific teams of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) have been painstakingly working since 2006 to return the remains of the loved ones to their families.

As of 1 August 2011 the CMP visited 542 alleged burial sites (130 more than in August 2010), exhumed bones relating to 798 individuals (108 more than in August 2010), conducted 472 osteological analyses at the Anthropological Laboratory, had 1443 DNA analysis performed by the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING) (256 more than in August 2010) and returned to their families remains of 297 missing individuals for a proper burial (49 more than in 2010). The efforts of the CMP, while it is Cypriot owned and lead, are facilitated by the United Nations, supported by the international community and enjoy robust endorsement by both leaders.

The three Members of the Committee on Missing Persons wish to renew the appeal to all those who can help towards achieving better results and expedite the whole process, to do so without further delay.  To give a credible answer to families about the fate of their loved ones is a neutral and urgent need and, in many ways, a humanitarian and noble obligation by all.

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