The excavation of a mass grave in the former open-case mine of Kizevak, located in southwestern Serbia, was concluded on Wednesday yielding the remains of at least nine victims.
Using DNA analysis, the government of Kosovo has been able to identify the remains of two victims of the Rezalle massacre in 1999.
A press statement issued by Kosovo authorities affirmed that “based on anthropological examinations, the minimum number of exhumed individuals is nine.”
Ibrahim Makolli, Chairman of the Working Group of the Kosovo Delegation for Missing Persons demanded answers from Serbia about the whereabouts of other mass graves where the victims of the Kosovo war lie.
“There are a number of suspected locations in Serbia that we believe will be addressed in the coming months and weeks,” Makolli told the media during a press conference.
Makolli reported that Serbian officials suspect that 16 mass graves exist across the country. Kizevak is the fifth to be discovered, and he reiterated that they will demand answers for the 11 remaining locations.
In April 1999, 98 Albanian civilians were executed in the village of Rezalla. The village still reports 44 missing persons. Two of the victims were found in the village right after the war, while 29 others were discovered in a mass grave in Serbia’s Rudnica – a location close to Kizevak.
Teams from Serbia and Kosovo began excavations in Kizevak in 2015, but their efforts intensified after mortal remains were confirmed on November 16.
The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) explained that the identification of the exact location where the human remains were found in Serbia, was possible through aerial images from 1999.
The International Committee of the Red Cross made the aerial images from 1999 available to the Kosovo Government Commission on Missing Persons and the Serbian Government Commission on Missing Persons at the end of 2019.
Over 1,600 people are still listed as missing since the end of the war in Kosovo in 1999.