Remains of 649 individuals exhumed in the framework of CMP project
Nicosia, Apr 7 - As a result of the Committee on Missing Persons’ (CMP) project on the exhumation, identification and return of the remains of missing persons, the remains of 649 individuals have been exhumed from different burial sites located across Cyprus to date, according to the CMP latest Progress Report. Moreover, 217 remains of individuals exhumed have been identified through this process to date (166 Greek Cypriots and 51 Turkish Cypriots).
Third Member of the Committee Christophe Girod said that “we still have lot of work and we are exhuming. Of course we could always do better. But I can say it is going ok, given the fact that we have to recruit the people. I think it is quite impressive what the Cypriots have done in three years. Of course from the family’s viewpoint you always hope that it goes quicker and faster. Unfortunately these things always take more time than we think,” Girod noted.
On his part, Greek Cypriot member of the Committee Elias Georgiades said that eight crews are currently conducting the exhumations, six of them in the Turkish occupied areas and two in the government controlled areas of the island. He also said that despite the fact that they have been given the green light and have begun working at a site where military exercises take place in the Turkish occupied areas, no access has been given for exhumations at military camps so far. The first positive identifications of remains took place at the end of June 2007. The families concerned were notified of the death of their missing relatives and were offered the possibility to view the remains of their loved ones at the CMP Family Viewing Facility. The remains of the identified individuals were then returned to them. The arrangements for the funeral of identified individuals are made by their family with the financial and, if need be, practical support of the CMP. A team of psychologists from each community provides psychosocial support to family members should they require or request it.