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ICRC: 15,000 missing after Balkan Wars

31 August 2010 18:58

Around 15,000 people are still unaccounted for after the bloody wars in the former Yugoslavia in 1990s, says the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The ICRC data came on Monday marking the International Day of the Disappeared.

Of the 250,000 people who, according to regional non-governmental organizations, were perished during the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, around 35,000 are missing, the ICRC said in its statement.

About 10,500 of those unaccounted for are from the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, while 2,392 are from the 1991-95 conflict in Croatia. Another 1,839 are from the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo.

“Behind the statistics, there are individual men, women and children whose lives were torn apart by untold violence,” said Paul-Henri Arni, the Belgrade-based head of ICRC’s regional delegation, reported Eurasia Review.

“It is not acceptable that the fate of almost 15,000 persons remains unknown and that their families continue to endure such suffering.”

The ICRC statement calls on officials in the countries of the former Yugoslavia to initiate extensive search for gathering information on the missing people.

It warns that failure to do so represents a “serious obstacle” to reconciliation and cooperation in the Balkans.

“It is a fundamental issue of humanity and political responsibility that the thousands of affected families receive news and support,” said Arni.

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