News 06 Mar 17

Over 900 ‘Missing’ Bosnians Actually Alive

A total of 911 individuals whose names are included in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national register of wartime missing persons are actually alive, and remain on the list by mistake.

Albina Sorguc
BIRN
Sarajevo
An exhibition in Sarajevo in 2015 to raise awareness about missing persons. Photo: ICMP.

Bosnia’s Institute for Missing Persons has told BIRN that an ongoing check-up has revealed that 911 people are on the national register incorrectly because identification documents have been issued to them since the war.

The names are of people who were registered by their relatives, but who then reappeared, and their families failed to inform the institutions to which they had reported their disappearance.

The institute’s spokesperson Lejla Cengic said that a verification process to check the 34,964 names on the national register is currently underway.

Of these people, the bodies of around 22,500 have been exhumed and identified; around 2,600 have been exhumed but not yet identified; over 900 are actually alive and around 7,000 remain missing.

“So far 21,650 missing persons have been verified [in the ongoing check-up],” Cengic said.

This means that the number of people who are incorrectly listed and are actually alive could rise from 911.

Ninety of these 911 are people who were reported missing as minors, according to Cengic.

“After the verification process has been completed, an electronic and print file on each missing person will be opened,” she added.

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