Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Missing Persons Institute of BiH (INO BiH), Mujo Hadžiomerović, assessed in an interview with FENA, that the results of the Institute’s work this year are significantly better compared to the previous year despite the difficulties they are facing.
Significant progress has been made in the identification process. This year, 150 victims of the past war were identified, which is twice as many as compared to the period last year, when 71 victims were identified.
Hadžiomerović stated that 80 remains of war victims were exhumed this year, compared to last year when 70 were exhumed in the same period.
“The most important work this year is the fact that we have started solving NN cases in morgues,” he said.
He adds that this year in Srebrenica, they managed to convince 41 families to hold a funeral with the incomplete remains of their loved ones, which the families had previously avoided.
They also carried out the same procedure in Kotor Varoš for the eight families who accepted it, and the funeral and burial of the remains were performed. This year, 165 exhumations were performed.
Hadžiomerović notes that, when it comes to the process of searching for missing persons, Bosnia and Herzegovina has achieved results that have not been recorded in any country in the world so far. Almost 80 percent of missing persons have been found so far.
“27,000 remains were exhumed, and 24,500 were identified and handed over to their families. No country has done that,” said Hadžiomerović, adding that countries like Ukraine and Azerbaijan are interested and asked the INO BiH to help them with their experience gained through years of doing this humane work.
However, he points out that the Institute still has a lot of work to do, noting that 7,594 missing persons are still being searched for in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He stated that they are trying to apply the experiences of other countries, such as Canada, where they used scanners, which could help them in the search, that is, in determining the microlocations of graves.
One of the problems they face is the small number of authorized forensic experts – pathologists in our country who work on exhumations and identifications.
As for cooperation with neighboring countries when it comes to searching for missing persons, he says that the cooperation is good.
”By strengthening our analytics at the Institute, we will try to find new graves. ICMP also helped us with the new server they have donated to us. Therefore, we will have a greater possibility of reviewing and entering all the exhumations carried out so far, as well as the places of mass and individual graves,” stated Hadžiomerović.