Rockford, Illinois- “Today we stand with respect and in solidarity with the Kosovo families who have missing relatives from the war. This important day of Remembrance has been officially designated by the Kosovo government as the ‘National Day of Missing Persons’. Although the war has ended over ten years ago, these families have questions that have remained unanswered. It is estimated that one thousand eight hundred sixty two (1,862) still remain unaccounted for today, despite the years of excavation of remains. Without closure, these families cannot move forward with their lives to be productive members of society,” said Jane E. Durgom-Powers, founder and president of IFFAMPAC, the International Federation of Family Associations of Missing Persons from Armed Conflicts.
IFFAMPAC’s Kosovo representative, Mr. Sheremet Ademi, was a featured speaker. His brother and two twin nephews are still unaccounted for. Mr. Ademi spoke of the horrors of the Serbian forces, which on April 27, 1999, in less than one hour killed over 375 targeted citizens of Muslim, Catholic, and Bektashlian faiths, just because they were Albanians. Countless individuals also remain unaccounted for from that day as well. It is important to remember that as time passes, memories fade from eyewitnesses, and physical remains become less reliable and inaccessible.
It is important for governments to work with the families on this issue as a priority. Families must be provided with all information associated with their missing members so that they may seek closure and move forward with their lives with dignity and respect for
those whose human rights were ferociously violated.
For more details and pictures, see the Events.