Kosovo and Serbia Team Up to Search for Missing Victims

News | Vienna Review | July / August 2012

In a symbolic act of cooperation, Serbia and Kosovo pledged to uncover the truth about the fate of 1,700 missing victims in the Kosovo War in 1998 and 1999.

Representatives from Kosovo’s Government Missing Persons Commission and Serbia’s Missing Persons Commission met on 14 June and visited a potential mass grave in the village of Žilivoda, 15 km west of Pristina.

"We have to cooperate in all aspects, because we owe the truth to the families of missing persons," the Kosovar committee’s chairman Prenk Gjetaj told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

EULEX Department of Forensics experts plan to visit some 30 potential sites in the regions of Gjakova, Peja, Klina, Prizren, Mitrovica, Skënderaj, and Podujevo.

In a related move, seven associations in Serbia dedicated to locating missing persons formed a coalition to better determine the fate of roughly 4,000 Serbian citizens still unaccounted for, which is a third of the 13,000 in the region.

Update: On 17 Jul. EULEX reported "considerable damage" to the Žilivoda site after a fire broke out, requiring seven hours to put the flames out.

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