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Missing persons, still an open wound in Kosovo

Apr 27, 2023

More than 20 years after the armed conflict in Kosovo, over 1,600 people who went missing during the war remain unaccounted for. It is a tragedy for thousands of relatives who have the right to know what happened to their beloved ones, and who are still coping with this uncertainty after so many years. The ICRC will continue to stand by them throughout these difficult times.

On the occasion of the National Day of Missing Persons, the ICRC Head of Mission in Kosovo, Mr. Agim Gashi, said that: “the wounds of the families of missing persons remain unhealed. Day after day, families continue to live in anxiety and uncertainty without knowing what happened to their husbands, children or relatives. We have spared no efforts to alleviate their suffering, and we will continue accompanying all efforts aimed at clarifying the whereabout of the missing persons. Families will only find relief after knowing what happened to their loved ones.” He concluded by saying: “It is our obligation to support all initiatives aimed at shedding light on the fate of all persons who remain unaccounted for in Kosovo, without distinction.”

As a tribute to the thousands of families who are still desperately waiting information that could help clarify the fate of the missing people, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) produced a voiceless video to highlight the grief of the families resulting from the loss of their loved ones.

Under international humanitarian law, the former parties to conflict have the obligation to provide information on the fate and the whereabouts of the people that have gone missing on the territories under their control. Families have an inalienable right to know the fate of their missing loved ones.