NGO records 74,607 forced disappearances in Syria’s 5-year-long civil war

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Published 30.08.2016 23:23
Updated 31.08.2016 16:43
A Yemeni walks past a drawing of a victim of forced disappearance at a street in Sana'a, Yemen, Aug 30, 2016.
A Yemeni walks past a drawing of a victim of forced disappearance at a street in Sana'a, Yemen, Aug 30, 2016.

While the situation in Syria being the most urgent, hundreds of thousands of people are still missing without a clue on their fate in current of former hotspots like Yemen, Colombia or the Balkans

A report released on the International Day of the Disappeared suggests that more than 74,000 people disappeared at the hands of warring parties in Syria since March 2011, with their fates unknown to their families and relatives.

The Syrian Network of Human Rights (SNHR) report said out of the total 74,607 people, 71,533 'disappeared' in prisons and detentions centers belonging to the Syrian regime. Leaving 7,319 fighters from different groups aside, 64,214 were civilians including 4,109 children and 2,377 women.

This number is 1,479 for Daesh, 892 for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (former Nusra Front), 397 for PYD and 306 for the moderate opposition groups.

The report urged the United Nations Security Council to take responsibility for those who were forcefully disappeared in Syria.

Meanwhile in the Balkan Peninsula, some 11,000 people are still missing from the 1990s Balkan wars, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday, expressing concern over the slow pace of establishing their fates.

During the conflicts that accompanied the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, almost 35,000 people went missing, including 22,000 from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The fates of about 70 percent of them have been established.

"However, more than 20 years after the wars, the families of some 10,700 missing people are still burdened with uncertainty about what happened to their loved ones," the ICRC said in a statement.

Marking the International Day of the Disappeared, ICRC President Peter Maurer urged authorities worldwide to "generate political will necessary to provide answers" to such families.

"Steps must be taken to prevent disappearances, and to collect all the information available when people do disappear, because, at some point, this information might help bring answers," Maurer said.

It is estimated that at least 130,000 people were killed in the region's 1990s conflicts. Most of them, some 100,000 people, died in Bosnia and Herzegovina's 1992-1995 war, in which Bosnian Serb and Yugoslav forces systematically committed genocide, massacres and other crimes against humanity against Bosniaks and Croats.

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