Finland is supporting investigations into Kosovo war crimes and the fate of persons who went missing during the Kosovo war. The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and the Serbian authorities have spent a number of years investigating war crimes committed during the Kosovo war. In connection with this, EULEX and the Serbian Committee for Refugees and Migration are conducting excavations to search for the remains of people who were executed or went missing due to these crimes. For the purpose of granting Finnish support for this, Ambassador Mr. Pertti Ikonen signed an agreement with the representative of the Serbian Committee for Refugees and Migration on 15 December 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia.
There are still more than 1,600 missing persons as a result of the conflict. With the support of Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the excavations begun earlier are being continued. The Government of Finland considers it of utmost importance that Kosovo and Serbia, in cooperation with the EULEX operation, continue to investigate war crimes and the fate of missing persons, and that the two countries achieve good bilateral judicial and police cooperation at the earliest opportunity. Currently, the general lack of cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia is the most significant factor hindering the investigations.
“Investigating the fate of missing persons is vital for their families,” says the Finnish Ambassador to Kosovo, Ms. Anne Huhtamäki.
The tasks of EULEX include strengthening the rule of law in Kosovo and investigating war crimes. There are several Finnish experts working for EULEX in the sectors of judiciary, police, forensic medicine and correctional services.