Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Dark clouds hovered yesterday over the squares of Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka. These were not the clouds carry storm and rain. They are a symbol of the bitter burden with which the families of 6,874 missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina lay down to bed every night, and wake up every morning. The dark clouds were labeled with the question “Gdje je?” (“Where is he/she?”), which summarizes all the burden of uncertainty and pain of families of missing persons. Their problems, unfortunately, often remain neglected and forgotten.
Symbolic clouds made of 6,874 dark balloons – which is how many persons are still missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the records of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – were carried by fifty volunteers of the Red Cross Society of BiH. This way they marked the 30 August, International Day of Missing Persons. Carrying dark balloons, citizens had the opportunity to express their solidarity with the families of the missing, symbolically taking on part of their burden.
“According to international and domestic law, families have the right to know what happened to their missing relatives and where they are located, and states have an obligation to support them and provide them with answers. Unfortunately, the process of tracing missing persons has significantly slowed down in recent years. We urge all relevant institutions to intensify their efforts in order to fulfill their commitments,” said Željko Filipović, head of the ICRC delegation in Sarajevo.
He also encouraged all those who have any information that can help clarify the fate of the missing persons to come forward and thus help families to mourn for their loved ones with dignity. One of the biggest obstacles to finding missing persons, namely, is the lack of reliable data on the locations of the individual and mass graves.
The ICRC has joined the process of tracing missing persons since the very beginning. Together with colleagues from the Red Cross Society of BiH, they are in daily contact with representatives of associations of families and support their activities, especially projects related to psychosocial support. In addition, the ICRC helps governments to adopt laws that would enable families to exercise their rights without any discrimination. ICRC experts also contribute to the search process by searching international archives in order to obtain new information on potential gravesites.
The animated video spot “Where is he/she?” shows the heavy burden of uncertainty that the families of missing persons carry. Watch it: