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Disappointment with inconclusive result in locating remains of missing
2005-01-12 13:12:21

Nicosia, Jan 12 (CNA)-- The representative of the Greek Cypriot side to the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) Elias Georgiades has expressed disappointment and concern with the inconclusive result of excavations in the Turkish occupied village of Trahonas, which failed to locate any remains belonging to persons listed as missing, believed to have been buried there during the 1974 Turkish invasion.

''This development has brought great anxiety among the relatives of missing persons, whose agony and sensitivity must be respected by all'', Georgiades has told.

He pointed out the need for any efforts to be based on really reliable evidence and information in order to investigate properly and accurately the fate of missing persons and facilitate the work of foreign experts involved in this task.

Responding to questions, Georgiades said at Wednesday's CMP meeting the current situation was evaluated, after the completion of the excavations in Trahonas, carried out at this specific location following information of the Turkish Cypriot side that persons listed as missing have been buried there.

"The overall assessment is that the result of the first exploratory investigation is disappointing, in spite of the worthy and very professional scientific work carried out by INFORCE experts, whom all sides have provided with every possible assistance," he added.

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 yesterday.

The Cypriot government has submitted to the tripartite Committee of Missing Persons, 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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