Four prominent experts were in Cyprus this week for an assessment of the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP).
Following a request from the CMP members, they assessed the work of its genetic and identification teams as well as the archeaologist team.
“All previous recommendations made in recent years to the CMP have been successfully implemented by the forensic team,” said Mercedes Salado, Identification Coordinator with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), and member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Forensic Advisory Board.
Lourdes Prieto, Vice President of the Spanish and Portuguese Society of Forensic Geneticists in Madrid, Spain, was impressed to see the application of high standards in the analysis of complex cases at CMP’s laboratory in Nicosia.
While emphasising the importance of continuing to maintain the highest standards in the identification process of missing persons, Luis Fondebrider, the Director-General of EAAF stated that “with the increasing difficulty to find human remains, the investigation phase is going to play a critical role for CMP in coming years”.
The international forensic expert and former CMP Identification Coordinator Maria Morcillo noted that CMP’s impressive implementation of international standards in the field of missing persons is globally recognised and referenced in many countries facing similar challenges.
The CMP is a tripartite intercommunal investigatory committee comprising a representative of the Greek Cypriot community, a representative of the Turkish Cypriot community, and a third member nominated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and appointed by the UN Secretary General.
Since the beginning of the implementation of the CMP exhumation, identification and return of remains project, excavations took place at 1,241 sites both in the government-controlled and the north of the island. Remains were found at 335.
According to CMP figures, the remains of 678 Greek Cypriots and 246 Turkish Cypriots have been identified.