More than 7,000 persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still missing and thousands of found remains are still unidentified, said Spokesperson for the Bosnia’s Missing Persons Institute Lejla Cengic. According to her, many remains were completely destroyed and a number of missing persons will never be found.
Nearly 35,000 persons were reported missing after the 1992-95 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina with various institutions that were dealing with this problem. According to Cengic, the process of searching and identification is slow considering the fact that more than two decades passed after the conflict.
“We suppose the total number of missing persons on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is about 32,000. Of that number, 25,500 mortal remains have been found until today,” said Cengic.
Hundreds of mass graves have been discovered across the country over the past two decades where thousands of the body remains were found, Cengic noted, adding that many of the mass graves are secondary graves, which means they were relocated from their original locations.
“It’s not a rare situation where several secondary i.e. relocated graves were made out of one primary mass grave, which led to the incompleteness of skeletons,” she added.
Besides Srebrenica, a large number of mass graves were found near the northern town of Prijedor.
“That’s the town with the largest number of mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 99 mass graves were found on the territory of Prijedor with mortal remains of Bosniaks and Croats. The largest number of victims of Croat ethnicity in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina was in Prijedor,” emphasized Cengic.
She also said there are 2,000 mortal remains that are yet to be identified through a DNA analysis.