Belgrade, August, 29th, 2011
On the occasion of marking the International Day of the Disappeared, the Coalition for RECOM calls for the governments of BiH, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo to create data bases on missing persons according to their nationality, to establish a fund which would support families of the disappeared, to incorporate enforced disappearance as an individual criminal act into their legislation, to sponsor exhumations and investigations, which may lead to the discovery of mass graves, and to strengthen the program for the protection of witnesses, who are willing to give information on concealed mass grave sites. The Coalition for RECOM reminds that BiH created a centralized register of missing persons in February this year, upon the recommendation of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, which contains registered disappearances which occurred during the war (34,964), and the creation of the data base on missing persons will follow.
According to the information from a number of independent sources, the fate of at least 10,000 citizens of BiH, who disappeared during the war on the territory of this country, has not yet been clarified, 1,009 Croats, and 1,038 Serbs, who had the citizenship of the Republic of Croatia in 1991 and who disappeared on the territory of Croatia, 1,300 Albanians and about 500 Serbs, Roma, and other non-Albanians, who disappeared in Kosovo during the war in 1998 and 1999, as well as after the war (by late 2000), and also 590 citizens of Serbia and Montenegro, who disappeared during the wars in Croatia and BiH.
The Coalition for RECOM calls for the governments in the region to support the establishing of RECOM, mainly because the Commission, which has a regional character has potential to contribute to a more efficient clarification of the fate of the missing and the discovery of concealed mass grave sites.