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Turkish Cypriot side must present convincing information on missing
2005-01-11 16:45:00

Nicosia, Jan 11 (CNA)--The completion of excavations in the Turkish occupied village of Trahonas, which yielded no results, confirms the need for the Turkish Cypriot side to present convincing and corroborated information about the whereabouts of missing persons, Elias Georgiades, representative of the Greek Cypriot side to the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) has told CNA.

The exploratory investigation, carried out by British experts working for the Foundation INFORCE, started last Wednesday in Trahonas, one of three sites presented by the Turkish Cypriot side in 1998, where people killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion are believed to have been buried. The investigation wrapped up today but no graves have been located.

''This development confirms the need for the Turkish Cypriot side to present convincing and corroborated information. It should concern all those involved and especially foreigners,'' Georgiades said, adding that expectations were raised because of promises given by the Turkish Cypriot side with regard to the number of people supposedly buried in this specific area.

Georghiades pointed out that the hopes and expectations of the relatives of missing persons have been dashed once more and added ''delays, mistakes and possible misinformation helps nobody.''

Regarding the next step in the effort to solve the humanitarian issue of missing persons, Georgiades said that this should come from the Turkish Cypriot side, adding that it must be ''a substantive move.''

He expressed hope that the Turkish Cypriot side will recognize that there is now an increased need for the investigations to be really effective.

The Cypriot government has submitted to the tripartite Committee of Missing Persons (CMP), comprising one representative from each side and a UN envoy, for investigation 1493 cases of Cypriot and Greek nationals listed as missing, a number that includes women, children, elderly persons and members of the National Guard.

Of the 1493 cases, the remains of 14 missing persons have been identified through the DNA process when the government of the Republic embarked unilaterally on a process of exhumation and identification of remains. Therefore the CMP now has before it 1479 cases to investigate.

There are also another 107 cases of Greek Cypriot and Greek missing persons whose files have not been submitted to the CMP and whose families have been informed as to the reasons why the specific files were not presented to the CMP. The Cypriot authorities continue to investigate these cases.

In addition to that, there are 50 cases of Greek Cypriots missing since the 1963-64 period, when inter-communal fighting occurred.

The CMP has the files of 500 Turkish Cypriot missing persons from 1963-64 and 1974.

The Greek Cypriot side has handed to the CMP information on more than 350 cases of Turkish Cypriots listed as missing, which gives full account as to the fate of these persons.

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