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CMP Appeals for Information on Missing Persons

The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) has appealed for anyone who has relevant information on burial sites in Cyprus to help them in their work to exhume the remains of those missing due to past conflicts on the island.

"The CMP guaranties strict confidentiality of the information and absolute protection of identity. The CMP wants to thank those who have provided information so far," said the organisation in a statement.

The CMP will intensify its work in 2010 with eight exhumation teams – six in the northern and two in the southern part of Cyprus.

Since inception of its exhumation project in August 2006, the CMP has retrieved skeletal elements which relate to more than 600 persons and identified and returned to their families remains of 196 missing individuals (145 missing Greek Cypriots and 51 missing Turkish Cypriots).

"The exhumation and identification work of the CMP is guided by scrupulous scientific process and precise rules and is based on the internationally accepted standards and practices. Valuable advice is given by the Argentinean experts of EAAF and the ICRC," said the CMP.

The investigations of the CMP are conducted in the sole interest of the families whose loved ones are missing and whose pain and sensitivities must be respected by all, said the CMP. It added that its mandate is purely humanitarian:  to establish the fate of missing persons.

"The Committee does not attempt to establish the cause of death or attribute responsibility for the death of missing persons," it said.

Today, the families of over 1800 missing Cypriots from both communities are still waiting to learn the fate of their loved ones.

"Their pain is pain of all Cypriots, their tragedy is tragedy of the entire Cyprus, and all involved must join together to heal the wounds of the past, to do everything possible to bring closure to the families of the missing persons," said the CMP.

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