News 15 Oct 13

Suspected War Dead’s Remains Found in Kosovo

Experts from the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo have recovered the remains of at least four people believed to have been missing since the end of the late 1990s conflict.

Edona Peci

The discovery of the human remains was made by a local resident who was walking across a field near the village of Rastavice/Rastovic in the Decan/Decani area, the EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX announced on Monday.

The Department of Forensic Medicine at EULEX’s War Crimes Investigation Unit said that it had found a substantial number of human bones, some clothing and other indications that the remains date back to the conflict in Kosovo.

“We are treating them like potential missing persons,” said Alan Robinson, co-head of the Department of Forensic Medicine.

“We have determined the presence of at least four individuals, three adult males and possibly one adult female. The remains were on the surface for many years and therefore the remains are incomplete and were very scattered,” he said.

“It is in fact possible that this was not the original site of deposition and that these remains were brought here from another location,” he added.

More than 1,700 people remain missing since the end of the conflict with Serbian forces in Kosovo.

Since the beginning of its mission, EULEX experts have conducted more than 400 field operations aimed at gathering data which potentially could lead to exhumations.

So far, the remains of 355 individuals have been returned to families.

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