Missing Persons Investigation Committee: Identifications of 29 missing & 8 fallen

He said that there are 300 sites to be excavated, while at the moment findings related to 150-160 cases are under consideration.

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The bodies of 37 people, 29 missing (20 Greek Cypriots and 9 Turkish Cypriots) and 8 fallen were identified in 2021 by the Commission of Inquiry for the Missing (CMP). The remains of 18 people were exhumed in a total of 79 excavations.

Experts from the University of Wisconsin are currently in Cyprus to assist the Commission in its work, conducting research using a ground radar and special cameras on drones, which capture images from the ground.

"The team consists of four people, two who came to Cyprus and two who work remotely. They were transferred in cooperation with the American embassy, ​​and both are in Cyprus since December 28 for nine days, conducting research, while they also dedicated a day for training purposes of our staff ", said to KYPE the member of the Greek Cypriot side in the CMP, Leonidas Pantelidis.

We pointed out to them, he added, six points in the free and occupied areas, about which we had general information to investigate them using a kind of ground penetrating radar, in combination with some other methods, some special cameras that are on drones, he added.

He explained that in this way some images are taken underground "where we see possible disturbances that we do not know what could be". He added that where such disturbances are found, excavations will follow.

Mr. Pantelidis said that the whole project is part of the efforts to strengthen the CMP research with methods of technology from which its work can benefit.

Answering questions, Mr. Pantelidis expressed the belief that in 2022 there can be better results from the CMP surveys. "There are mass graves with dozens of people, mainly from meditations, which have not been located yet and we hope to find them at some point. "We have some information and we are trying to complete the investigations so that we can dig," he said.

He said that there are 300 sites to be excavated, while at the moment findings related to 150-160 cases are under consideration. "It does not mean that everything is about missing persons. "Some may be archaeological finds, for some it may be difficult to identify," he said.

He stated that seven bi-communal crews of the CMP work throughout Cyprus, taking all appropriate measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19These crews are currently working in Voni, Agia where bones have been found, Spathariko, Templos, Lefkonikos (two crews) where the bones of three people have been located and possibly the bones of others may be found in Omorfita.

Asked about the flow of information to the CMP, Mr. Pantelidis said that they are satisfied, as information continues to be given to the Commission by eyewitnesses, by hearing and others.

Regarding the searches in archives, Mr. Pantelidis said that the searches in the archives of UNFICYP are nearing their end, noting that these archives are not very helpful and no particularly important information has emerged from them. "Some things are more confirmatory," he said.

CMP statistics

According to the statistics on the CMP website, by December 31, 2021, 2002 missing persons had been exhumed from a total of 1183 missing persons and 1023 had been identified. Out of a total of 1510 missing C / Cs, 732 have been identified and 778 are still missing. Out of a total of 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons, 291 have been identified and 201 continue to be missing.

In 2020, 25 missing persons were identified, in 2019 42, in 2018 71, in 2017 117, in 2016 115 and in 2015 61.

Besides, 2020 people were exhumed in 4, in 2019 26, in 2018 10, in 2017 26, in 2016 80 and in 2015 161.

Source: KYPE