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Cablegate: Icrc Closes in Croatia, but Search for the Missing

VZCZCXRO0617
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0389 1091439
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191439Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7569
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000389

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL HR REGIONAL ISSUES
SUBJECT: ICRC CLOSES IN CROATIA, BUT SEARCH FOR THE MISSING
CONTINUES


1. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) formally
closed its door in Croatia on April 13, after being present in the
country for more than 15 years. Although its regional office in
Budapest will continue to follow developments in tracing missing
persons in Croatia, the ICRC database and its activities have been
transferred on to the Croatian Red Cross.

2. There are still 2046 persons registered as missing with the
Bureau of POWs and Missing Persons of the Ministry for Veterans
Affairs: 1116 represent direct inquiries by families who have
approached the government (mainly Croats), while the remaining 930
(mainly Croatian Serbs) have been registered on the basis of ICRC
data and exchange of information through government cooperation with
Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

3. Visnja Bilic of the Government Bureau told the Embassy that
cooperation with Serbian and Bosnian counterparts was friendly and
professional. She also said the GOC is engaged in a joint project
with Sarajevo-based International Commission on Missing Persons
(ICMP) aimed at collecting blood samples from relatives of the
missing persons and exchanging sample data among the three
countries. Over five thousand sample reports have thus been
exchanged, resulting in 85 positive identifications.

BRADTKE

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