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Victims from the Mass Grave near Kalinovik linked to the Genocide in Srebrenica

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is assisting the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in identifying the remains exhumed in June 2021 at the Dobro Polje site near Kalinovik.

Biological samples were taken from exhumed remains and compared with reference samples provided to ICMP by relatives of the missing who last saw them alive in Srebrenica in July 1995.

On December 8th, 2021, ICMP submitted to the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) reports on DNA matching for ten Srebrenica victims.

“The Kalinovik site is the first mass grave linked to the Srebrenica genocide from July 1995 to be exhumed since the Kozluk exhumation in April 2016,” stated Matthew Holliday, head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program.

As he pointed out, the locality of Kalinovik is unusual in that, when compared to all the graves related to the Srebrenica genocide that have been found so far, this one is located at the greatest distance from Srebrenica.

“Its location is only a few kilometers from the village of Godinjska Bara near Trnovo, where in mid-July 1995, members of the ‘Scorpions’ paramilitary unit shot six Bosniak prisoners from Srebrenica,” it was explained.

As a result of the joint work of the Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and SIPA, on May 6th, 2021, remains were found in the area of Kalinovik. The location in Dobro Polje is located on inaccessible terrain covered with stones in the valley of the river Bistrica, along the road M18.

The BiH authorities, with the help of ICMP forensic experts, began the exhumation on May 31st, 2021. The exhumed remains were largely separated, scattered over a large area, and covered with dirt and construction waste. Signs of immediate execution were seen on these remains. Handcuffs were found at the site, ” it was noted by the ICMP.

It is important to mention that the exhumation procedure ended on June 22nd, 2021. According to ICMP forensic anthropologists, based on the number of right shin bones exhumed at this site, the minimum number of people exhumed at this site is ten. Since the bodies were so separated, a forensic expert took 64 postmortem samples (teeth and bones) for DNA analysis.

The genetic profiles isolated from the samples were compared with the reference profiles of more than 100.000 relatives missing in the 1990 conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, which are in the ICMP database. Ten DNA matches were identified for different individuals and these DNA matching reports were submitted to the MPI for official identification.

Authorities will determine the cause and manner of death. Additional matching reports will be submitted to the MPI, which will allow the re-association of highly scattered skeletal remains with the remains of 10 persons for whom DNA matching has already been determined.

E.Dz.

Source: Klix.ba

 

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