Finding the missing: Dead link

IN THE wreckage of Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre the remains of dozens of victims of last month’s terrorist attack await identification. In some cases the damage is so bad that conventional means—faces, fingerprints, teeth—may be of little use. But thanks to Interpol the Kenyan authorities are getting help from an unexpected quarter: a Bosnia-based organisation which uses DNA testing to trace victims of the Yugoslav wars.The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) sounds grand but has just 150 people and a core budget of under €7m ($9.5m) a year. Zlatan Bajunovic, whom it has sent to Nairobi, lives close to Srebrenica, where 8,000 Bosniaks were killed in 1995. Their killers dug up and moved bodies from the original mass graves. Many corpses disintegrated.Thanks to him and his colleagues most of those remains have been identified. Of the 40,000 people who went missing in the wake of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, 70% have been found. The ICMP has helped identify two-thirds of those. Families register their DNA and then look on the ICMP website to see if it matches the remains which have been found. Testing kits, of the kind Mr Bajunovic has taken to Nairobi, are cheap, quick and effective.Now the ICMP is looking for new work. Though other outfits—in Argentina and South Africa, among other places—do similar jobs, its labs in Sarajevo are the biggest of their…

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