The missing people

The missing people

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The programme “Tema” explores the fate of the missing and the lack information about them in the context of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
Missing peoples’ families have waited for years to hear of the fate of their loved ones. Meanwhile officials in Kosovo and Serbia say information about the missing is harder to come by. Also, operations to look for the missing have yielded few results.

Officials from Kosovo and Serbia discuss the missing in the forthcoming debate on the programme “Tema”

Pajazit Nushi, the head of the Kosovo Commission for Missing Persons, said while the topic has been discussed at length, there remains much to talk about.

“Many of us have missing people in the family. We are trying to deal with the lack of information through our archives,” Nushi said.

Velko Odalovic, of the Serbia Commission for Missing Persons, said despite an uninterrupted dialogue – both formal and informal – between Kosovo and Serbia institutions about missing persons, many issues remain.

“We face a lot of problems and we do not have enough information,” Odalovic said.

According to Odalovic, Serbia has produce every document requested regarding missing people.

“We have not seen any record of the Kosovo Liberation Army,” he said.

But Nushi said such a record does not exist.

Nora Ahmetaj, director of the Centre for Research, Documentation and Publication is not convinced that the work has progressed as well as it was expected.

“After all this activity within Kosovo, Serbia and the region, but also with the international community, the losers are the families of the victims,” Ahmetaj said.

“The absence of information indicates that it is a political issue,” she added.

Kosovo and Serbia have not made this issue a priorit, said Sandra Orlovic, director of the Humanitarian Law Fund.

“Committees have been able to work more. We have examples of how Bosnia started the campaign through a phone number. Through anonymous phone calls, it was able to find a few graves and human remains. I think that so far we have not seen such creativity,” Orlovic said.

“We need to change our approach,” she said.

The fate of the missing people, lack of information about them, and what is being done to find them is be discussed on “Tema” on Monday.