Irrespective of the number of remains found, the efforts of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) should not cease until the fate of every missing person has been determined, its Greek Cypriot member Nestoras Nestoros said on Tuesday.
Responding to statements made on Monday evening by Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou warning that the CMP faces the danger of closure due to the lack of new evidence, Nestoros stressed that the committee will continue regardless of numbers.
Photiou said “we find ourselves faced with the immediate danger of cessation of the work of the Commission as the success rate of exhumations and location of remains has dropped abruptly.”
Photiou cited CMP data for 2018, according to which the remains or partial remains of about 11 people were located while in 2017 the remains of 50 people were found.
“Right now,” Photiou added, “there are still 850 missing people, 44 years after their disappearance.”
The Republic continues to offer both financial and political support for the continuation of the work of the CMP, Nestoros said.
Since the CMP’s establishment in 1981 and the beginning of excavations in 2006, the Committee’s efforts have been supported by the Republic, the EU and other donors.
All chronic problems require collective efforts and a practical approach in order to be solved, Nestoros concluded.
So far, the remains of 896 missing people were identified from both communities and were given to the families for a proper funeral. A total of 1,230 places where missing people are believed to have been buried have been excavated by CMP and remains were found in 336 locations.