The search continues for almost 7,500 people who went missing during the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina but is being hampered by political disputes, the head of the Institute for Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marko Jurisic, warned on Thursday.
Excavations that were conducted at 105 sites last year led to the exhumation of 97 remains.
“That is the worst result since the Institute was established. The reason for that is the lack of political will to solve this problem,” Jurisic said after a meeting with associations of missing persons.
He said that problems exist in all communities because people who are searching for their loved ones are being stigmatised by local authorities. “It is simply unbelievable that one hundred people can go missing and that no one knows anything about that or that someone takes away a complete family and kills them,” he said.
Addressing a press conference, Jurisic said that Bosnia and Herzegovina is searching for twice as many people as all the other countries of the former Yugoslavia.
“We have 7,478 persons still missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is twice as many as all the countries of the former Yugoslavia and the attitude of neighbouring countries is such that we envy them. I hope that the government's attitude to this problem, to the institute, will change so that all of society in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be united around this problem which is essential for us,” Jurisic said, underscoring that the institution cannot complete that task on its own.