On the International Day of the Disappeared, August 30, Kosovo is remembering the 1643 people who disappeared during the 1998-1999 war with Serbia.
They are still unaccounted for today, 21 years after the war has ended. Most of them are Albanians, with hundreds of Serbs and other minorities of Kosovo.
President Hashim Thaci blamed Serbia and the international community for their fate.
“The issue of the missing persons is the shame of the international community, and it is unfortunate that Serbia is politicizing the issue of disclosing their fate.
The international community must use all available means to put pressure on Serbia and to clarify the fate of the missing persons, and any crime committed in Kosovo,” Thaci stated on his social media account on Sunday.
Speaker of Parliament Vjosa Osmani stressed that a final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia cannot be reached without having first made sure that families of the disappeared know what happened to their relatives.
“Today, when Kosovo is negotiating with the state [Serbia] that committed genocidal actions, to achieve what is being called the Final Agreement, the portrait of each missing person appears before us. Today we do not have a final answer for their families, as we do not even have an answer to the main argument: how can there be a final agreement with Serbia while we do not know where our people are, whom [Serbia] took by force! Consequently, a final agreement without clarifying the fate of the missing and without addressing the Serbian state’s crimes seems impossible and anachronistic. There will be no peace as long as every mother and father does not find their own child, and as long as every child does not find their missing parent,” Osmani wrote.
Last week, the families of the missing persons from Kosovo and Serbia held joint press conferences in both countries to ask for justice for their relatives.
The two countries have discussed the issue of missing persons in the EU-facilitated dialogue but it’s not clear if they have reached any kind of deal.